Raheem Devaughn – The Art Of Noise


Raheem Devaughn is one of those rare, chameleonic artists that can blend perfectly within most any musical environment that he enters. He personifies his stylistic shape shifting on The Art of Noise, his latest musical venture. The album boasts 18 complete tracks and only one interlude – a feat rarely seen in music today. But while it is usually great to have a longer listening experience, more isn’t necessarily more.

Rah tends to shine on sample-laced street tracks and songs that highlight his skills as a balladeer. Fortunately, he gives us enough of both vibes, setting the album off with the Kenny Dope-produced “God Speed.” “Wanna Love You” is a standout gem on this project, with Rah crooning over a Dilla-esque chop of an Isley Brothers sample. Rah also shines on “Beat It Up”, a mellow tune with a renewed Beastie Boys appeal. “Insomnia” brings the singer back around to a bedroom manner that comes naturally for Rah; the song will definitely be a winner with his female fans.

Though Rah gives us everything that we expect from him, there were a few tracks that made me raise an eyebrow more than once. “Club Hop” seems to be an obligatory radio effort, and it came off as just that – something he was made to do. “Talk $h@# to You” falls into the same feeble league, with Rah aiming at mass appeal via auto-tuned vocals. I’m still on the fence about his rendition of “Night and Day.” Some things you just don’t try. Maybe that’s just me.

Overall, Raheem Devaughn gives us a high-quality album; there are more than a few tracks that have serious rewind factors. The subject matter and order of songs seems to be really varied and random as a cohesive listen, though. But I guess that’s the point; maybe there is an art to his noise after all.

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