Sean Paul – Imperial Blaze

2009-11-30 11:05
Imperial Blaze
It has been four years since we last heard from the Jamaican bad boy. During his hiatus he told MTV that he wanted to be less focused on party singalongs and felt inspired to do music that addresses youth violence in Jamaica. The result? Imperial Blaze which includes such 'conscious' ladies jams as "Birthday Suit", "Don't Tease Me" and "Wine Baby Wine".

Err... positive messages for the youth? I don’t think so. But maybe the subversion in these messages is so subliminal that I missed it completely. Or maybe they got lost in translation due to my lack of command of Jamaican English/Patios. But with lyrics like "Girl if you want it, then just come jump on the saddle and ride and balance upon it", it's doubtful.

The majority of the 20 tracks here are an intricate disclosure about his bedroom escapades and after the umpteenth time hearing such bravado it gets tedious. Barring a few mid tempo reggae-ballads like "Straight from the Heart" which is a sweet ode to his mother, the album could have easily been called the "Sexscapades of Sean Paul".

For sexed-up, party-engineered ragga-pop singalongs that will have the masses sweating it out on the dancefloor, this record gets a perfect score. But sadly outside of the club's doors there is not much sizzle in Imperial Blaze. The lead single "So Fine" failed to leave any mark on the charts and it is easy to see why. Even the most hardcore of fans (which I am, by the way) is left feeling a little cheated by his mindlessly repetitive machismo.

Filled with raunchy ragga-pop and sweat-inducing club bangers, the latest offering from The Don of Dancehall, Sean Paul feels a little like déjà vu.

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