Wyclef Jean

Greatest Hits

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Much to his credit, Wyclef Jean is more of a producer in the vein of classic R&B and soul producers than he is in alignment with many of his contemporaries. Where most hip-hop and R&B producers are just focused on making a beat or making the hook as catchy as possible, Wyclef has a vision beyond that with his production style as well as his endeavors as a solo artist. This attention to detail and broad scope of music styles has been evident since his early years as a key member (if not the key member) of the Fugees. In a genre where formulas and playing it safe are the norm, Wyclef is a mad scientist taking constant risks and fusing elements of almost every genre imaginable into an amazing signature sound. And although not every experiment can be deemed a success (his cover versions of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and a duet with Kenny Rogers revisiting "The Gambler" immediately come to mind), Wyclef's production skills on his worst day are still better than many producers' finest hour. Greatest Hits covers three solo albums over a period of six years. While the argument can be made that such a short span of time might warrant a greatest-hits compilation a bit premature, Wyclef has enough quality tracks to justify one -- especially if you are just looking to own his most well-known hits. From his commercial successes on the pop chart ("We Trying to Stay Alive" with fellow ex-Fugee Pras and the classic "Gone Till November") to some of his lesser known hits that only made an impact on the R&B charts, every single one of his finest solo moments is contained here. Die-hard fans will already own many, if not all, of these tracks, but those just getting warmed up to Wyclef's style will find Greatest Hits to be an essential primer.

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