Beenie Man


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In 1999, Beenie Man released the superb The Doctor album and unleashed a stream of hit singles, and this album as well, which seems to have been either an afterthought or a rather crude attempt to make some more money before the millennium ended. Y2K is a mere dozen tracks long (The Doctor had 14) and includes a few recent singles such as "Illiterate Girl" and "AIDS Veteran," but offsets them with a clutch of recuts of earlier hits. "Miss Angela" is dressed up in a new, more ominous garb, as the dancehalls now demanded, while the guesting Christina sounds like a bit like Shirley Bassey being slowly strangled. "Matey," too, doesn't particularly benefit from a new tattoo of a rhythm, although "Veteran" does sound a bit more atmospheric this time around. And really, do listeners need any more stinky armpits with a rerun of "Green Arm"? "Recruiting Girl," in contrast, is a group effort to enlist women, which only infers that the action will take place in the bedroom. It's a stealthy attack, with Beenie and his company offering asylum and a chance of religious fulfillment, but when has an enlistment officer ever told the truth about what's actually in store for the recruit? Still, most women would be happy to join Rasta's army, be strong, and devote themselves to these soldiers. "F**k Hawk," as its title makes clear, is anything but subtle, but cultural anthropologists and psychologists are encouraged to study this song for Beenie's brilliant use of military metaphors. The DJ's brashness here is beautifully backed by a splendid version of the popular "Real Rock" rhythm. The album's party piece is the bouncy "Boogie Down," which also resurrects a classic reggae rhythm and surprisingly keeps its charm intact, wherein Beenie pays tribute to the sound systems of old. One of the best on the set. However, the true standout is "Feel Good," which disinters the "Country" rhythm for the umpteenth time and brings Leroy Sibbles along for the ride. He's modest about his part in creating this classic rhythm, but Beenie pays him the tribute he so justly deserves. So not a total throwaway, but will feature in few fans' top picks

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