Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sean Kingston by Sean Kingston album review

Sean Kingston put out the biggest song of this summer, but will his career last as long as the classic beats he borrows?

It was really hard not to pay attention to Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls when it was first leaked to radio stations in late spring. The borrowed bass-line from Ben E. King’s classic Stand By Me was unmistakable and was not the usual beat one hears on current Top 40 radio.

As you could tell from Kingston�s lyrical approach, he is a smooth hip hopper, but, unlike many of his contemporizes, he can actually sing as well as rap. His abandonment of most elements of hip hop on �Beautiful Girls� was a welcome relief for a genre that lately has been saturated by one lukewarm git after another.

The familiarity of the song immediately grabs your attention (especially if you are over 30 and you recall the repeated plays of �Stand By Me� when it had a rebirth in 1986-87), but the lyrics are particularly mournful as Kingston tells of a fairly un-ambitious (�That�s why you never work�) yet attractive coquette who has the young singer in the most sever throws of desperation. The pronunciation of the word �suicidal� (sounding more like �Sue-a-ci-dal�) is sadly the part of the song most remember (and people actually request the song as �that suicide song�)

While �Beautiful Girls� has unquestionably been the summer song of 2007, the rest of Kingston�s disc is also worth more investigation.

The follow-up single �My Love� does something that is considered almost blasphemous in most circles: Kingston actually had the courage to borrow the vocal riff from Led Zeppelin�s classic neo-reggae covered �D’yer Mak’er� (except that Robert Plant�s original vocal styling of �Oh oh oh oh oh ooh� is now marginally changed to �Uh uh uh uh oh ooh�). While the Zeppelin lyric sample and the island tones makes �My Love� sound like another great summer tune, we see in the lyrics that poor Kingston is once again pining over a another lady (or the same one he was on �Beautiful Girls�) who got away.

Kingston does show his playa side on the sultry (thanks mostly to the appearance of young chanteuse Paula DeAnda) �There’s Nothin.� Here Kingston sounds more like a man in control as he serenades a girl whom he finally seems to have held on too!
The one big miss-step on the CD is �I Can Feel It,� a re-working of Phil Collins� classic and atmospheric tune, �In the Air Tonight.� Collins� tune has been so overplayed that there was no need for it to be remade and it is the only time on the CD that Kingston�s appeal does not add much to it.

All-in-all, this is a great debut from Kingston whose future (he is only 17) looks more than auspicious.

Track Listing:

01. Intro
02. Kingston
03. Take You There
04. Me Love
05. Beautiful Girls
06. Dry Your Eyes
07. Got No Shorty
08. There's Nothin
09. I Can Feel It
10. Drummer Boy
11. Your Sister
12. That Ain't Right
13. Change 208 kbps
14. Colors 2007 (Reggae Remix) (feat. Vybez Kartel & Kardinal Official)

My Rating is 5 out of 5

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