We at ZAlebs love our music; from the unfortunate Drake album leaks, to the pop sensations (One Direction is our guilty pleasure!) Our good friends at Warner Brothers Music have been kind enough to hook us up with Jaheim's newest album and we absolutely had to share our thoughts with you all on it.
Jaheim, known as the deep throaty croon of R&B who possesses the charisma of a younger Teddy Pendergrass, introduces to us his sixth studio album released on the 3rd of September 2013. The album, titled Appreciation Day, is exactly that, the appreciation of not only his fans in general but the appreciation of women and the complexities that come with loving a woman. When listening to this album you cannot deny that Jaheim still keeps it R&B through and through leaving little room for random pop songs to compromise the genre that is rhythm and blues. This is a refreshing discipline that some R&B artists have failed to keep since commercial pop is currently holding the music industry under siege.
Jaheim wastes no time in sticking to the theme of appreciation as he gets straight into business with track 1 titled “Age aint a factor” singing praises to the aging beauty that black women possess. What’s interesting about this song is how he smoothly tries to charm the ladies with his lyrical word play; “Raise your glasses for my Viva Foxes and Stacy Dash’s…I see you getting your Nia Long on” he sings. If you were being compared to a Nia Long or a Stacy Dash you’d most certainly be feeling yourself, have you seen how gracefully those ladies have aged?
Even though Jaheim is the ultimate crooner when it comes to this R&B game, many of you gentlemen out there might not see the point of actually buying this album. Before you overlook this review take the time to listen to songs like “He don’t exist” and “What she really means.” You can tell that Jaheim had his boys in mind when writing these two songs. “He doesn’t exist” is like a gentle slap back to reality to the ladies who have ridiculously high standards when it comes to the type of man they want, whereas “What she really means” is like a lyrical tip to all men who are still struggling to figure out the female mind. Listen carefully fellas you might learn something with this one.
I’ve always believed that an R&B album isn’t complete without a sample, or a love making song and of course Mr ‘Still Ghetto’ himself takes us a few years back with the song "Morning" a sample of Kelly Price’s ballad, “As we lay” which can also be heard in Jennifer Lopez 2001 single “Hold you down” featuring Fat Joe. If you listen carefully to the undertones of this song it’s basically a one night stand type of theme with subtle sexual innuendo’s thrown in here and there.
What we appreciate about this album is that Jaheim sticks to the common thread of appreciation however, sometimes sticking to the script can be monotonous and a tad bit boring. Songs tend to sound the same, if he’s not singing about loving you he’s singing about making love to you which is more or less the same thing. Also, for a seasoned vocalist like Jaheim it was a bit disappointing to hear him struggle to reach high notes on songs like “P**** Appreciation” and “Shower Scene” those two songs were a bit awkward to listen to making it easy for me to press the skip button in a matter of seconds.
We also see Jaheim tapping into the social woes of white and black America as he pays tribute to slain teenager Trayvon Martin. Apart from this song being really sobby like you cannot help but feel the real emotions in his voice as he offers his words of encouragement to Trayvon’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. Nice one there Jaheim.
I wouldn't say that Appreciation Day is one of Jaheim's best pieces of work, especially when comparing it to his debut album Ghetto Love and his follow up Still Ghetto. Appreciation Day is one of those albums where you will find yourself repeating two or three songs and skipping the rest. It's an ok R&B album that's just missing that certain something to make it special.
I'll give my appeciation back to Jaheim by giving this album six music notes out of ten. Thank God R&B still exists.