The Makings of a Man

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Jaheim switches from Warner Bros. to Atlantic after 2006's number one Ghetto Classics, and it's business as usual for the singer. He continues to surround himself with a complementary roster of fellow songwriters and producers, including associates old (KayGee, Wesley Hogges, Darren Lighty, Eric Williams, Balewa Muhammad) and new (R. Kelly, Babyface, Ivan Barias, Carvin Haggins). Like an overwhelming percentage of Jaheim's first three albums, there's nothing flashy about The Makings of a Man. It's built-to-last R&B with a foot in the past and another in the present, his tough-yet-smooth Teddy Pendergrass-meets-Luther Vandross voice in full effect. Particularly bright spots include "Hush" (the R. Kelly collaboration, where Jaheim feels conflicted over sleeping with his best friend's woman), the Force M.D.'s-sampling "Have You Ever" (a frank check-yourself number, despite its wistfulness), and pretty much every other track that incorporates a soul classic, whether it's Bobby Womack's "If You Think You're Lonely Now" ("Lonely") or Atlantic Starr's "Let's Get Closer" ("I've Changed," featuring Keyshia Cole).

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