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It's a Wrap: Prince of Reggae becomes King

Stuart Gooden | Interrobang | Lifestyles | February 13th, 2012

I decided to take a step back from rap this week to tap into my Jamaican roots and review a reggae album. I was dying to write this whole article in patois, but figured that most people would be satisfied with just plain English.

Tomahawk Technique, released by Atlantic Records, is Sean Paul's fifth studio album and is by far his most unique piece of work. Paul has taken a new approach by maintaining a reggae foundation and giving the newest sound a twist; he's now almost completely hiphop with a splash of techno. All 13 tracks on the album are anthems for the club that will keep you sweating on the dance floor for hours.

"How Deep Is Your Love" featuring Kelly Rowland is produced by Stargate, and avid listeners will quickly think of "Letting Go (Dutty Love)" by Sean Kingston and Nicki Minaj, as Stargate uses almost the exact same instrumentals. That being said, it's a great song. Kelly Rowland is the perfect female feature for the song as she doesn't over-accentuate the vocals too much, but dumbs down her ridiculous singing voice to fit the vibe of the song. Her subtle attempt at patois in the chorus is also a nice touch. Simply put, the sound produced by the two go together like white on rice — or should I say, like rice and peas?

"Touch the Sky" features, and was produced by, DJ Ammo. This is by far the most techno-driven song, as it is laden with synthesizers, highlighted with a very busy pure techno bass and the tempo of the song is all over the place but isn't overdone. The track is the biggest club banger on the album, but it doesn't become something it's not, which is a conventional techno song.

"Roll Wid Di Don" is a noticeably more vintage Sean Paul song. The track is sung at a much faster pace, the lyrics are almost pure patois, the beat is simple and energetic, and it lacks a traditional bass. Paul co-produced this one himself and actually did a good job. This is my favourite song on the album.

Honourable mentions: every other song not reviewed. Five hundred words are not enough to give the props they deserve. The album is that good. Must listen: "Put It On You."

I'll admit that the name of the album threw me off at first. I'll also admit that I thought it was weird that Sean Paul named the album after his outlandish new hairdo. Regardless, Tomahawk Technique is a sick record. The energy and hype that drips off every song is too much to resist. Sean Paul strikes the perfect balance between reggae, hip-hop and techno that caters more than sufficiently to his fans and partygoers who will jam nonstop to it.

Rating: 5 out of 5
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