CD Reviews – May/June 2011

The new music that are reflecting the region right now

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  • Shaggy

Big Yard Presents Shaggy and Friends

The Jamerican dancehall toaster, born Orville Richard Burrell, shoots and scores on this latest disc, which sees him veering away slightly from the reggae/dancehall style he is best known for, and instead venturing into unfamiliar terrain like pop-rock and even dance.

“Too Cute”, featuring Ty-Arie, is the bouncy track that kicks off the disc. But it’s songs like “Believer” and “This Could Be Your Day” on which Shaggy’s raspy baritone singing voice is strongest. Listen out too for the fun “Good Times Roll” and “You See Him Face”.

As the title suggests, Shaggy gets by with a little help from his musical friends, among them Jaiden, Rick Rok (with whom he collaborated on the hit “It Wasn’t Me”) and his longtime singing partner in crime, Rayvon.

The self-styled Mr Lover Lover could never complete an album without addressing his legions of female fans. He does so with a reminder of his sexual prowess in “Everything You Need” – a distant cousin to his earlier hit “Boombastic” – and “Needle Eye”, in which he defends the cheating ways of men.



Bushman sings the Bush Doctor: a tribute to Peter Tosh


After years in the planning and even more in the making, roots artist Bushman finally delivers a 15-track disc that sees him paying homage to the late, legendary reggae singer Peter Tosh. Born in 1944, Tosh, who died in 1987,was a member of the Wailers who went on to be a successful solo act.

The disc includes Tosh’s original backing band (which accounts for the authentic Tosh sound) and features Bushman’s unpretentious bassy pipes on Tosh classics “Bush Doctor”, “Buckingham Palace”, “Mawga Dog” and “Johnny B Goode”. Most impressive are the Bushman-Buju Banton collaboration on “Mama Africa” and his take on “Igziabeher”.

Bushman was born in 1973 in St Thomas, Jamaica, and shot to fame after meeting the reggae production duo Steely and Clevie.

Tosh’s fans may see these versions as a far cry from the originals, but that’s a given. Bushman’s treatment of Tosh’s work could never eclipse that of the original singer, but, truth be told, he does hold his own.


Funding provided by the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme Direct Support Grants Programme.
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