Clothes Drop

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Trying to please everyone, Shaggy knocks an excellent album down to just a very good one by overstuffing the otherwise inspired Clothes Drop with bland filler. An hour plus, the album contains 40 to 50 minutes of inspired Shaggy with the swashbuckling singer dividing his time between swaggering business as usual and surprisingly non-pop, non-slick numbers that are welcome reminders of how deep he can go. The polished boasting and bragging on the opening "Clothes Drop" is no big surprise, but the minimal and bubbly production from Sly & Robbie is fresh and exciting. The pace is kept up with some raw dancehall -- the pounding "Broadway" with its brittle Barrington Levy sample is especially tasty -- before things get much slicker. "Wild 2Nite" takes the singer into the perfect-fitting world of G-Unit with special guest Olivia, and "Supa Hypnotic" is the first of two stylish winners with the Pussycat Dolls' Nicole Scherzinger, the saucy "Don't Ask Her That" being the second. Up to this point, Clothes Drop juggles the crossover and the genuine well, but generic concessions to bedroom R&B and a empty collaboration with the Black Eyed Peas' are forgettable and have no place on this otherwise excellent album. That two of the most heartfelt and poignant numbers from the artist close the album makes this all the worse, but you only have to do a little trimming to make Clothes Drop one of his best.

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