CD reviews (September/October 2008)

Reviews of some new Caribbean CDs

Shaggy. Photograph courtesy VP Records

Alive
Imij &Co

“Alive” aptly describes this latest disc from one of Trinidad and Tobago’s leading soca bands.It kicks off with the 2006 T&T Carnival hit Big Bottom Gyal, a fiery track that celebrates the female derriere, and made exciting by singer Russell Cadogan.Track two represents the calm after the storm of Big Bottom Gyal, with the Kerwin Dubois-written Take One, a groovy soca that features Michelle Xavier’s voice.

Reigning Groovy Soca Monarch Shurwayne Winchester guest-appears on Only You, a track he also wrote.

Listeners will love From Meh Mudder, written and sung by Cadogan, in which he tells the story of seeing his god-sister after 15 years.

Flow, Xavier’s crossover track, is also worth a play.

Intoxication
Shaggy
VPCD

Ever since he released Boombastic in the 90s, the Jamaican-born, American-based Shaggy has proven to be in a league all his own.

He may not have the lyrically conscious depth of Buju nor the wild, rapid-fire style of Beenie Man, but it’s Shaggy’s hip hop-infused dancehall that has made his music so popular. (Even the Prince of Pop, Michael Jackson, admitted to enjoying his music after Shaggy accepted MJ’s request to sing for him at an anniversary concert some years ago.)

On this disc you’ll find the infectious Bonafide Girl, featuring Rik Rok and Tony Gold, and the hit Church Heathen.

In typical Shaggy style, the self-proclaimed Mr Lover Lover has women in full focus on tracks like Criteria, Wear di Crown (featuring Mischieve).

He also addresses his other favourite subject, man-woman relationships, on More Woman, All about Love and What’s Love, which features a cameo from Akon. Shaggy’s old hitmaking teammate Rayvon, who sang on the hit Angel, also appears on Out of Control on this 15-track song set.

Essiba Small

CDs courtesy Cleve’s One Stop Shop, Frederick Street, Port of Spain