Monday, October 31, 2005

CD Review: The Trinity by Sean Paul

Way back in 2002, Sean Paul released Dutty Rock, an album that spawned a number of great singles including "Gimme The Light," "Get Busy," "Like Glue," and "I'm Still In Love With You." Now, Sean Paul finally returns with his new album The Trinity. It's a solid album with more potentially great singles but without a lot of the hip-hop influences that drove his previous album.

There are a wide variety of songs to be found on The Trinity. "We Be Burnin," the first single, is a fun club-friendly song that courts the ladies. The ladies also factor into two duets on the album. Sean Paul collaborates with Nina Sky, the duo behind "Move Your Body," for "Connection." Tami Chynn provides vocals for "All On Me," a song that seems destined to be a single (if not the next single). "Yardie Bone," featuring Wayne Marshall, is an exercise in sounds close to old-school reggae/dancehall while songs like "Temperature" and "Ever Blazin" are as modern as can be.

Sean Paul also takes some time to get serious on a couple of songs. "Never Gonna Be The Same" is a tribute to his friend Daddigon who was killed earlier this year. His spirituality is on display in the lyrics: "Still cannot believe them took your life away/But those who pull the trigger cannot take away/The covenant the righteous have with Jah Jah." While "I'll Take You There" is not an entirely serious song, Sean Paul makes reference to the violence that plagues Jamaica in the chorus: "I'll take you there/To a place, where you can be free as you wanna be girl if you tired of the killing and blood spilling you only wanna be chilling..."

The title The Trinity refers to the three ways that the number three factors prominently in the circumstances surrounding the album. It is Sean Paul's third album. It comes three years after his previous album and it was primarily recorded in the "Third World." However, it could also refer to the genres he covers on this album (dancehall, reggae, and R&B). Sean Paul has the ability to jump from genre to genre without compromising or changing himself. He's just as comfortable with a rapper as he is an R&B singer or a fellow dancehall artist. It's that kind of versatility that lead to this album having the highest ever reggae debut. I hesitate to say that The Trinity is Sean Paul's best album to date (I have yet to hear his debut album Stage One), but it shows that he is in it for the long run. Even if the popularity of dancehall starts to fade in the U.S., I don't expect Sean Paul to disappear anytime soon.

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