Lightly 'Loaded'

Save the few stellar hit singles, Busy Signal’s sophomore album isn’t ‘loaded’ with much else.

Save the few stellar hit singles, Busy Signal’s sophomore album isn’t ‘loaded’ with much else.

The just-released Loaded is a follow-up to the artiste’s strong 2006 debut showing Stepout, which features the breakout single of the same name.

This time, the artiste – born Reanno Gordon – seems less hungry for greatness, but proves on many levels that he’s matured enough to make an album that at times offers gainful insight into the cultural ‘phenom’ that is life in the garrison.

The 15-track album is largely less ‘gully’ than its predecessor but fails somewhat to capture Signal’s true lyrical aptitudes. It feels less like a follow-up work and more like a compilation CD that’s distributed to keep his name out there or keep his fans’ interested.

Loaded opens with People So Evil, which indicts humanity’s demise, before going into Jail followed by the sensual Tic-Toc with it’s pop synths and infectious wordplay. This far into the album, one begins to miss Alaine’s charm on the ‘pop-esque’ collab’ I Love Yah of Step.

A slew of sexual innuendo form the tapestry of the December 2007 party-track Wine Pon Di Edge and Fast, Fast, Fast, Fast that has Busy begging his muse for the Shakira Wine.
Mid-album, listeners are treated to the first collaboration Real Jamaica – an ambitious but forgettable track featuring singer Mykal Rose.

There is too the auto-tone-induced Unknown Number and the ever relevant These Are The Days, which mulls over the severity of our time. The follow-up track Hustle Hard positions Busy as the skilled lyricist he’s proven himself to be over the years and it becomes easier to see why he’s considered the future of dancehall.

“The difference between this album and the last one is growth,” says the artiste, “now I’m choosing what I say. it’s not just water-down, typical dancehall.”

He’s off the phone and this writer is back to the disk player, where track 10 is proving itself to be most formidable.

My World glorifies the gangster’s paradise with the scary but alluring realities of smoking, sex and shootings. And speaking of bullets, gunshots sound effects herald the aptly titled Strappings, while Cool Baby is a sexy ode the dancehall goddess who primps and preens.

The album closer Murderer the second collaboration on the album features Alborosie and is perhaps as conscious as Busy should or needs to be.

What’s great about this album is that it isn’t riddled with Alliance adulations. the liner notes and a shout-out or two is adequate.

Though Loaded lists hot producers like Craig ‘Leftside’ Parkes, Daseca as well as Lloyd ‘John John’ James and the much-hyped Shawn ‘SSMG’ Scott, the album fails to meet the greatness that one would expect of Busy Signal. However, fans who the deejay has acquired in the last year or so should be elated that all their favourite Busy tracks (that reigned since the summer of 2007 into mid-’08) are largely in one place. And for the most part Loaded is a light listen. but not in a good way.

Source: JamaicaObserver

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