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A Place Called Love Land

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Raheem DeVaughn 9/3/2013

Review

Artistically and commercially, Raheem DeVaughn's time with Jive/Zomba closed on a high note. The Love & War MasterPeace, his third and final album for the label, debuted in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 and received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best R&B Album. Nonetheless, DeVaughn moved to the independent Mass Appeal for an album titled (perhaps after consulting a Lonnie Liston Smith album title generator) A Place Called Love Land. There are no space princesses or golden enchantresses, but Love Land is stocked sky-high with slow material for bedrooms. "Ridiculous" is a falsetto ballad, sparsely ornamented to allow the light to shine squarely upon DeVaughn's awestruck but clear-minded pleading. Three consecutive tracks during the latter half are among the singer's best slow jams. "Greatest Love" (featuring Dru Hill's Larry "Jazz" Anthony), "Cry Baby," and "Make a Baby" all contain melodic twists that are subtle, lingering, and satisfying enough to wash out the occasional bluntly graphic couplet. No matter how boastful DeVaughn gets, a listener can feel as if she's being addressed directly pretty much all the way through. Even when DeVaughn sings "On the phone saying I love her, but in the bathroom there's another," as he does on "Wrong Forever," it's done as repentance. It's surprising that the newly independent DeVaughn, whose transition to a smaller budget is sonically transparent, doesn't let loose with some freewheeling funk like "Lose Control." That said, the throbbing "Love Connection," released as a single several months prior to the album, is his best uptempo song, as well as one of his catchiest concoctions. It didn't gain traction with radio -- a major shame. ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Interlude Raheem DeVaughn 0:53
  3. 2 Love Connection Raheem DeVaughn 3:59
  4. 3 Wrong Forever Raheem DeVaughn 3:28
  5. 4 Interlude: Don't Go Raheem DeVaughn 1:55
  6. 5 Complicated Raheem DeVaughn 4:22
  7. 6 In the Meantime Raheem DeVaughn 2:55
  8. 7 Interlude: Rebirth Raheem DeVaughn 1:1
  9. 8 Ridiculous Raheem DeVaughn 4:54
  10. 9 Pink Crush Velvet Raheem DeVaughn 3:51
  11. 10 Interlude: Dear Love Queen Raheem DeVaughn 1:41
  12. 11 Greatest Love Raheem DeVaughn 5:41
  13. 12 Cry Baby Raheem DeVaughn 4:7
  14. 13 Make a Baby Raheem DeVaughn 5:13
  15. 14 Make Em Like You Raheem DeVaughn 3:55
  16. 15 Interlude: Happy Raheem DeVaughn 1:32
  17. 16 Maker of Love Raheem DeVaughn 3:45

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