My Name Is Gyptian


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My Name Is Gyptian Review

by David Jeffries

Gyptian's heartbreaking single "Serious Times" became Jamaica's favorite song in 2005, no small feat considering its main competition was Damian "Junior Gong" Marley's massive hit "Welcome to Jamrock." A loose, earthy ballad with nyahbinghi drums and sufferer's lyrics, "Serious Times" is a 21st century, roots-minded classic that benefits from casual production, but the shoe-string budget that gave the song such a front porch vibe is also My Name Is Gyptian's big drawback. The power of Gyptian's delivery and his dedication to every tune deserves better surroundings, and one has to wonder why the powers that be put "What Are We Fighting For" and the redundant "Stop the Fussing and Fighting" right next to one another. Regardless of the pasted-together feel to the album, the singer carries many of the tunes on delivery alone, turning everyday lovers rock into beautiful, timeless seduction songs. The socially aware numbers give the album some substantial weight with the cautionary "School Girl" and the comforting "Ma Ma" carrying on the "Serious Times" tradition. While a better-built showcase could have put the talented and sincere Gyptian on reggae's top shelf, his debut has enough exciting moments to make it an easy recommendation for the roots reggae faithful.

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