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"The Love Experience" - Raheem Devaughn
by Michael Heyliger
The current movement back to “real” soul
music has produced an interesting bunch of
male vocalists. There’s Anthony Hamilton, the
country boy. There’s the wild-eyed eccentric,
Bilal. There’s the so-bland-it-hurts Dwele. The
latest entry into the sweepstakes comes from
Maryland-based singer/songwriter Raheem
DeVaughn. “The Love Experience” is a nervy, .
While DeVaughn has a strong voice, what ultimately makes him
distinguishable from the rest of the pack is his music. He’s definitely
been listening to his Prince and Terence Trent D’Arby records. The
songs weave in and out of samples, and push the sonic envelope
with haunting synths and rock guitars.

The album, as you’d expect from the title, is mainly about love. He
adds a mystical element to the eerie, spacey ballad “Breathe”, while
he goes for a more straightforward tack with the first single “Guess
Who Loves You More”, which rides a smooth sample of Earth, Wind &
Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love”.

“Ask Yourself” works the live-band approach, with it’s bluesy guitar
and live drums, while “Who” has a droning electric guitar buried into it’
s background, giving it a distinct Purple flavor. The song also works a
socially conscious vibe, while simultaneously showing off DeVaughn’s
falsetto skills on the chorus.

“The Love Experience” is a promising debut, although, like many new
artists, DeVaughn could use an editor. At 16 tracks, the album runs a
bit long. Raheem also falls into the trite “thug” lyrics and motifs like
the album’s designated “club banger” “Sweet Tooth”. He redeems
himself with the Tribe Called Quest-ish “Is It Possible” (featuring
pretty Spanish guitar over a hypnotic beat), and songs like “Until”
and the title track, which give new life to familiar sampled tunes by
Switch and The Isley Brothers.

“The Love Experience” announces the arrival of a talent who
definitely has major skills. It’s a bold first step, and no doubt
DeVaughn will have many more interesting stories to tell as he
matures musically.

Listen to music from "The Love Experience":

"The Love Experience"  real player
"Guess Who Loves You More"   real player
"Who"   real player
"Is It Possible"   real player

Find out more about Raheem & his experience at: