A lot has happened since Raheem DeVaughn released his third album “The Love and War MasterPeace” in 2010. In 2011, the DMV native left his major record label (Jive Records) to become an independent artist. Over the years, the R&B crooner has been working on new music for his fans. After experiencing multiple push-backs, DeVaughn will finally deliver his first independent studio album, “A Place Called Loveland,” on September 3 via 368 Music Group/Mass Appeal Entertainment.
DeVaughn begins the album with an intro track in which he kind of plays the role of a tour guide as he prepares to take listeners on a voyage to “Loveland.” The album tackles all facets of love and relationships — the good, the bad, and the sexy.
DeVaughn serves us solid heartfelt ballads such as “Love Connection” and “Ridiculous.” On the latter track, penned by Ne-Yo, DeVaughn unapologetically professes his love to his woman. He could care less if being crazy in love with her makes him look ‘ridiculous.’
The R&B-Hippie-NeoSoul-Rockstar shows love to the ladies on tracks like “Maker of Love” and “Make ‘Em Like You.” On the latter track, DeVaughn serenades a woman on her beauty inside and out. “You are an ex girlfriend’s nightmare….Take me to your mommy and daddy so I can say thank you,” he sings.
If you’ve been in a relationship, you definitely know that everything isn’t glitter and roses all the time. DeVaughn effectively tells stories about of the other side of love without making it sound depressing. “Wrong Forever” is a raw and honest track where DeVaughn confesses to his mistakes in a relationship. Despite having “girls in order like a check list,” his lover remained loyal to him. Realizing that not every woman will stay with a man who has been unfaithful, DeVaughn shows appreciation to her for standing by him.
“Don’t Go,” which is an interlude, is a short and sweet tune where DeVaughn shows his vulnerable side. He begs his lover to never leave him. “I never want to break you down/ I always want you to be around,” he croons.
“Complicated” is one of those love songs that we can all relate to at one point. DeVaughn is confused about his relationship status with his interest. “I’m kind of single/ But I’m in love/ It’s complicated,” he sings. “Complicated” is another standout track that deserves single treatment.
What’s a love album without bedroom music? DeVaughn certainly knows how to make great love-making music. One track that stands out is “Pink Crush Velvet,” which was inspired by Bobby Brown’s 1988 hit single “Roni.” The title of the smooth, seductive track is code phrase for a woman’s goodies. It’s the perfect song to add to your lovemaking playlist. “Greatest Love” is another bedroom banger. With metaphors like “Call me Michael Phelps when I be swimming it,” DeVaughn may have a few ladies throwing their panties at him. “Cry Baby” and “Make A Baby” are also sensual songs on the album.
Overall, “A Place Called Loveland” is another solid album from Raheem DeVaughn. DeVaughn successfully blended all things that involves a romantic relationship. The album is essentially one big story with interludes to help make the transitions smooth. In fact, the interludes were short and sweet songs itself, making a listener want more.
If you’re looking for a great R&B album, “A Place Called Loveland” will be a great pick. Purchase the album on iTunes.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Standout tracks: “Love Connection,” “Ridiculous,” “Pink Crush Velvet,” and “Complicated.”