Album Review: Love Behind The Melody by Raheem DeVaughn
Great, Based on 3 Critics
Entertainment Weekly - 86 Based on rating A-
Maryland’s Raheem DeVaughn doesn’t sound much like a contemporary R&B star: His second LP, Love Behind the Melody is almost devoid of oversexed squeals and strobing synths. Instead, he wraps his tenor around unusually sincere ballads like ”Friday (Shut the Club Down)” — a riff on the Temptations’ ”My Girl” — and Grammy-nominated teaser single ”Woman.” Had he been born a few decades earlier, he could have been a major pop sales force. For now, he’ll have to settle for making music that transcends today’s commercial rules.
"The R&B Hippie Neo-Soul Rock Star" -- wait, isn't that Cody ChesnuTT? Or is that Van Hunt? Erykah Badu? Regardless, that's what Raheem DeVaughn is calling himself, and it's likely a catch phrase intended to gain some more of the attention the singer deserves. Despite reaching the Top Ten of the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, 2005's The Love Experience didn't crack the Top 40 of the Billboard 200, and none of its excellent singles (including "Guess Who Loves You More" and "You") came near the Top 30 of any chart. By word of mouth and persistent rotation on "grown folks"-type R&B video programs, DeVaughn gradually developed enough of a following -- including vocal admirer Alicia Keys -- to make his follow-up a rather anticipated release.
Singer-songwriter Raheem DeVaughn celebrates the title of his sophomore effort, Love Behind the Melody, with an unexpected exuberance. He indeed has an abundance of love propping up his music -- but it’s all for sale. Each of the album’s fifteen songs and two interludes detail that elusive “four-letter word” as a commodity that can be purchased, used, in some cases abused, and replaced.