Shaggy's debut album, Pure Pleasure, has been described as a dancehall album for those who generally don't care for dancehall and, to be sure, the CD managed to reach a lot of listeners who find dancehall limited and one-dimensional. The toaster accomplished this by striving for variety and being more musical than a lot of dancehall artists. Plus, the fact that he is fairly recognizable doesn't hurt; when other 1990s dancehall upstarts were becoming Shabba Ranks clones, Shaggy combined dancehall aggression with such influences as Yellowman. Pure Pleasure has its share of conventional, sexploitive dancehall, but Shaggy takes some chances on conscious numbers like "It Bun Me" and "Give Thanks and Praise" as well as his infectious interpretation of Prince Buster's "Oh, Carolina." Pure Pleasure isn't a gem, but it's an often enjoyable album that has some variety and does its part to broaden dancehall.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson