Jaheim Ghetto Classics

R&B singer Jaheim couldn’t sound anymore like the great Teddy Pendergrass if he tried. New Jersey-based Jahiem Hoagland is a cool smooth soul brother with the butter melting voice who, in another era, would probably be a superstar. I’ve always had an affinity for Jaheim, but felt that his traditional soul sound isn’t always a nice fit with his hip-hop ghetto style. Ghetto Classics, his third album, continues Jaheim’s melodious muddle up of R&B, gospel and hip-hop. The songster with the rich baritone is at his finest with refined R&B joints like lead single "Every Time I Think About Her,” "The Chosen One” and the smooth stylings of "Daddy Thing.” He falters a bit with facile storytelling in "Fiend” and "Like a DJ.” But taken as a whole, the album title is appropriate: Jaheim successfully marries old school soul with new school sensibilities. (Warner)