STYLE: Reggae RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 16148-3946 LABEL: GospoCentric 828767128023 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2006-02-28 RRP: £14.99
Reviewed by Paul Poulton
It's unbecoming to slather praise on a fellow member of the human race, but there are moments on this CD worthy of giving Papa a good slap (on the back, of course). Some followers of his previous work may not be altogether happy with the clinical construction of this album, which just happens to coincide with his move from Jamaica to Florida. Eddie "Trendsetta" Perez (who is now a Christian and formerly produced people like Ashanti and KRS-1) helped record and write it. "Good To Me" is such an excellent song, with its tense synthesized figure running throughout, and Papa's fun but real lyrics, how often do we say that God has been "nice to me"? Not very, but it's true, maybe we should say it more often. Most agreeable are the dulcet female vocals which carry the melody of the songs around which Papa's dancehall style vocals weave. A flirtation with reggaeton, the Spanish hip-hop vibe, can be heard on "Stand Strong". Papa's work before he became a Christian was pivotal in helping reggae move forward, and his work after his supernatural conversion continues to mine the rich seam of reggae's history whilst also digging deeper.
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On his new project, Real & Personal, Papa San gets just that as he continues his exploration of faith-based themes in his fresh, sonically entertaining style for reggae fans everywhere. The CD, produced by Papa San, Eddie Perez, Maurice Gregory, and Rohan Harrison, is notable in its musical accessibility and recognisable rapid-fire lyrics along with solo highlights by special guests.
Papa San describes Dancehall reggae as 'just a branch off of the reggae tree. It was first called toasting in the early '70s when artists, who became referred to as DJs, began to put lyrics more to rhythms than melodies. It was built less off the keyboard and more from a hardcore beat.'
'Some Christian forays into world music unfortunately sound inferior to their mainstream counterparts. Not so with Papa San …the production… is first-rate. Reggae is still something of a niche genre beyond the Caribbean… but fans should eat it up. I'm glad Papa San's on the team, sharing the gospel of Christ with an all new audience.' Christianity Today
'Regardless of whether you understand the reggae dancehall style, and no matter whether you can figure out the heavy chat or not, the one truth that comes shining through with Papa San is his sincerity and his obviously deep and new-found joy and love for Jesus Christ.' Gospel Flava
Songlist includes: Jus' She Di Word; Stand Strong; It's All About You; Oh Zion; For You Lord; Good To Me; More Life; Come Out A Di Building; Rise Up; Cornerstone; He's Coming and Tell Me Why