Summer in Kingston

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By the time this 2011 EP saw release, dancehall singer Shaggy had become an icon in his homeland, so it’s no surprise Summer in Kingston finds him following in the footsteps of Radiohead, at least in the business sense. No corporate pressure here, as this was released on Shaggy’s own label, but don’t think that big-money sound is gone, as the opening “Just Another Girl” with Tarrus Riley proves that R&B polish is still well within his reach. The following “Sugarcane” is even more slick with a ridiculously catchy chorus to boot, plus a great double-entendre hook (“She had a taste of my sugar cane/And since then she hasn’t been the same”) that is island humor at its best. “Dame” is the grand kind of global mix you’d expect from Wyclef, while “Fired Up (F*ck the Rece$$ion)” is as fantastic and over the top as its title. Eight tracks and out means this one is just too short to compete with the man’s major releases, but otherwise, Shaggy remains as bombastic as ever.

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