Contagious the new album from singer Tarrus Riley is charting on popular online music store iTunes four days after its official release, signalling that the album could register on the Billboard charts next week.
The album is currently number 7 and 10 on iTunes in Sweden and the US, respectively. However, it is too early for the album to register on the major music chart Billboard, as it is less than a week old. As usual iTunes reggae album charts are dominated by reggae icon Bob Marley, whose albums currently top 19 of the 22 countries listed on iTunes.
Contagious is expected to surpass the chart success of previous albums due to the increased buzz Riley has received following his hit single, She’s Royal, which was arguably the biggest reggae song of 2007. Riley’s debut album Challenges (2004) and his follow-up Parables (2007) peaked at 12 and 10 on the Billboard Reggae charts, respectively.
Contagious has 18 tracks and features collaborations with Vybz Kartel and Demarco on Herbs; Konshens on Good Girl Gone Bad; and Etana alongside Duane Stephenson on Let Peace Reign.
Contagious was set to debut in March but was pushed back until August 4. It’s Riley’s first album in two years, and was recorded mostly at Mikie Bennett’s Grafton Studios in Kingston. VP Records currently is heavily promoting the album on its website and other online sites.
In 2008, VP Records re-issued Riley’s first album, Challenges. Riley’s manager, saxophonist Dean Frazer, asserted that Challenges was Grammy-worthy but no one heard it. “The first album really and truly was a wicked works. And is only now start to creep up on people,” he told the Observer previously.
Frazer wants Contagious to win a Grammy: “But a lot of times, really good albums are not nominated. We hope that come 2009 we will definitely be there.”