Album: Shaggy

Clothesdrop, GEFFEN
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The Independent Culture

Rarely can the absurdity of business practices in music be better illustrated than by Shaggy's career. A multi-platinum hit-maker thanks to smashes such as "Oh Carolina" and "Boombastic", he was dumped by Virgin in the late Nineties, only to bounce back with "It Wasn't Me" and the 10 million-selling Hot Shot album for his new label, MCA - which then shut down its record division, without bothering to secure his services.Geffen stepped in with a chuckle to sign up the most successful Jamaican artist since Bob Marley. And it'll be quite happy with Clothesdrop, a slick collection of crossover dancehall tracks deftly detailed with touches of R&B courtesy of collaborations with Nicole from Pussycat Dolls, Brian "Gold" Thompson, will.i.am and Fergie from Black Eyed Peas, and Fiddy's lady friend Olivia. There are few surprises in subject matter, which hardly strays from Shaggy's views on his own sexual prowess and admiring comments on the opposite sex, growled out in his gravelly staccato baritone over twitchy dancehall beats, the best devised by Tony "CD" Kelly or Shaun Pizzonia, and some built around JA standards by the likes of Barrington Levy and Derrick Harriott. Hit picks? Too many to list, though the tone is spoilt by Shaggy's rather graceless triumphalism in tracks such as "Back in the Days", "Letter to My Kids" and "Ahead in Life".

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