Personnel: Raheem DeVaughn (vocals); Ronald Frost, Anthony Bell (various instruments); Mike Ciro (guitar); Larry Gold (strings); Gene Perez (bass instrument); Tanzania Lateef, KI Ki Hawkins (background vocals).
Like Anthony Hamilton, Angie Stone, and many of the more exciting artists carelessly lumped under the banner of "neo-soul," Raheem DeVaughn has soaked up a world of musical influences (that includes, of course, the winding history of rhythm & blues) to arrive at his debut record, THE LOVE EXPERIENCE. The son of jazz cellist Abdul Wadud, Devaughn was born into music, and that heritage is far from lost on the inherently soulful singer.
"Who" melds an instantly classic melody (that falls somewhere between 1970s Philly soul and 1980s Reid-Babyface) with a surreal synth hook and a wandering rock guitar, and is a perfect example of the alluring depth of THE LOVE EXPERIENCE. DeVaughn's vocals fit his compositions perfectly, whether it's the ultra-slow bedroom eyes of "Ask Yourself," the jazz-hop of "Guess Who Loves You More," or the Funkadelic-conjuring "Sweet Tooth." On THE LOVE EXPERIENCE, Raheem DeVaughn succeeds in combining an ear for the pop melodies of the past with a host of new ideas for soul music.