Two weeks ago Andre Sutherland released his sophomore album Vanquish - a follow-up to 2018's acclaimed Forever. Over alternately slick, dancey and eclectic beats, Popcaan spits lyrics about drugs, sex, happiness, money, guns, and God. And the result? An altogether pleasant body of work and a top five spot on the iTunes Reggae albums chart, despite the lamentable lack of promotion prior to the album's release and after its release.
Perhaps Popcaan's core fan base locally requires none of the expensive and extensive promotion most international artistes tend to embark on, and his label lead Drake had the international promo covered with a single retweet. (Or not... That's debatable). Nevertheless, though this writer would have preferred more traditional promotion, releasing the ten track album the day before the second staging of Unruly Fest was admittedly a clever move.
Braggadocios on the perfectly radio ready Numbers Don't Lie, Popcaan switches it up on Love You - a song with a title that belies its sexually explicit lyrics and subject matter.
Jah Is For Me explores a bit of spirituality and religiosity which appears to be obligatory in all solid Dancehall and Reggae discographies, but Popcaan manages to make the routine foray into religiosity personal. Though the song could do well without the lyric 'dem fi know mi grow ruff like a f***ing slave' the song remains an easy listen and instant hit.
One-upping Love You, are Promise and Gimmi Love as both feature great beats perfect for your Dancehall playlist and blend the softer side of romance and its sexually explicit aspect more masterfully than the effort on Love You. Fair warning: the lyric about a mixed race baby might drag you right out of your vibe; and the lyric about wining offbeat may also do the same. Still, both songs shine.
Can't Wait explores lack of faith in law enforcement on a smooth track, Father God ah Lead though maddeningly slow, may grow on a listener by the third or fourth listen, and Happy and Wealthy describes the collective dreams of us all - good health, immense wealth, and many joys. The album closes with the bouncy, piano song Elevate.
All in all the album deserves no loss than an 8.5/10 rating.