Soul, Funk, R&B, & Hip-Hop, All Ages


When: Fri., July 9, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., July 10, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., July 11, 7 & 9 p.m. 2010

Lurid pleasures lie not only on the surface, but at the very core of most contemporary R&B albums. Seldom are they complemented by real intimacy or emotional depth. Those qualities pervade W.W.W. (W.ants, W.orld, W.omen), the latest offering from Detroit R&B artist Dwele. Influenced by gospel, soul, and hip-hop, Dwele is one of the most studied artists in his genre. He's also the most sensual. Judging from the album's title and the rapturous radio hit, "What's Not to Love," Dwele loves women in a more profound way than any of his peers. He has appetites, and he certainly takes a prurient interest in the female body, but he's also an aesthete and an idealist -- someone who easily gets seduced by inner beauty (or the idea of it, at least). Dwele leavens the sexy parts on W.W.W. with real romance and sentimentality, incorporates jazz chord changes, and even makes DJ Quik sound like a crooner (on "I Wanna"). No wonder he's drawing comparisons to Marvin Gaye. Dwele performs Friday through Sunday, July 9-11, at OaklandYoshi's (510 Embarcadero). $28.

Rachel Swan

Price: $28

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