Carnival, Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant

Carnival, Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant

by Wyclef Jean

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Carnival, Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant

Ten years after his 1997 solo debut, The Carnival, former Fugee, "Hips Don't Lie" producer, and globetrotting activist Wyclef Jean presents the sequel, subtitled Memoirs of an Immigrant and meaning it. There's a star-studded guest list, but Carnival, Vol. 2 is composed from Wyclef's personal experience and filled with his commentary on 2007's immigration crisis. He even works his own green-card story into "Selena," a lighthearted love letter to the Mexican American diva that shamelessly quotes her "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" over a light reggae beat before it morphs into a screaming loud carnival number. Many of the songs here shift genres with fascinating ease, like when the epic "Touch Your Button Carnival Jam" goes from a Black Eyed Peas-styled pop number to an intense soca workout. Then there's "Riot," a duet featuring System of a Down's Serj Tankian and dancehall dread Sizzla that utilizes a tense rock rhythm before exiting on a wet reggae beat. If it all sounds overwhelming, it's held together by Wyclef's well-crafted arrangements, and if Serj and Sizzla sound like an odd combination, try Sizzla and Minister Louis Farrakhan on violin for "Welcome to the East." Chamillionaire gets a Bollywood orchestra as a backing band, T.I.'s track is almost a hippie number, and Paul Simon croons over an R&B beat during "Fast Car," not the Tracy Chapman one but a song just as poignant. While this skillful mixing and matching of the A-list makes quite a first impression, it's the songwriting that sticks as Wyclef has upped his game. The deadbeat dad story "What About the Baby" is a convincing exchange between Wyclef and Mary J. Blige because of all the honesty written into it, and lines like "I got love for Miami all day/But if my Cubans get to stay/Why you turn my Haitians away?" add edge and weight to an album that's otherwise slick and immaculately polished. To make sure the immigration issue is always nearby, Wyclef quietly and at regular intervals references "shelter," "helping hands," and other words of refuge and protection. It's done so masterfully that it makes the couple "I'm gonna grab my guitar!" moments worth ignoring, which are the only times Wyclef's ego seems to be muscling into the mix. Otherwise, Carnival, Vol. 2 strives to give the immigration problem a face, turning those thousands of marchers seen on the news into a thousand personal stories of struggle and hope. It does so while pulsating with life and displaying an unabashed love of music that's rich, daring, and delightful.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/04/2007
Label: Sony
UPC: 0886970394727
catalogNumber: 703947

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wyclef Jean   Primary Artist,Guitar
Andy Grassi   Guitar
Louis Farrakhan   Violin
Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis   Bass
Norah Jones   Wurlitzer
Joe Tomino   Percussion
Arden Altino   Keyboards
J. Thomas   Keyboards
Lamont "Logic" Coleman   Percussion
Sedeck Jean   Keyboards
LaTavia Parker   Vocals,Background Vocals
Rubin Kodheli   Cello
Aadesh Shrivastava   Vocals
Wilner Alexandre   Concert Master
Dave Clauss   Horn
Elvis Aponte   Concert Master
Idris "Baby Shaq" Washington   Concert Master
Mike "Nyte" DeSalvo   Horn,Keyboards
David Brozer   Guitar
Horacio Jiménez   Vocals
Anthony Leggett   Background Vocals
Kiana "Kiki" Sullivan   Concert Master

Technical Credits

Keith Lancaster   Composer
Robbie Shakespeare   Composer
Andy Grassi   Engineer
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
Wyclef Jean   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Dennis Coles   Composer
Robert Diggs   Composer
Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Julian Vasquez   Engineer
T.I.   Executive Producer
Norah Jones   Composer
Chris Feldmann   Art Direction
Lamont "Logic" Coleman   Composer,Producer
Sedeck Jean   Producer
Doug Rotwitt   Engineer
Jimmy "Henchmen" Rosemond   Executive Producer
Aadesh Shrivastava   String Arrangements
Dave Clauss   Engineer
Mike "Nyte" DeSalvo   Engineer
Devon Golder   Composer
Elliot Carter   Engineer
Lee Alexander   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Carnival, Vol. 2: Memoirs of an Immigrant 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
AWESOME!!!!!!! Different, laid back and a wonderful cd, you can relax and enjoy! OUTSTANDING! Thank You Jason for listening again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wyclef Jean said he will be gone till november, and in between that time he has been pumping out the hits."Masquerade", The "Preacher's Son" and Welcome To Haiti: Creole 101" have all proven worthy listens, and has solidified him as a bonafied solo artist. Of Course his smash solo debut "The Carnival" was the starting point. Now "Carival, Vol 2: Memoirs of an Immigrant," bares the same formate as his debut but it dosen't quite reach his debut status. Granted he brings the world to his table by adding a diverse serving of artists, like the omni present Norah Jones, T.I., Camillionaire, Shakira and others. But that dosen't bring the album down, it's that fact that the lyrics are once again too sporatic and sometimes abstract. Wyclef has really run out of things to say. However he always seems to find a way to spin those same type lyrics in a different way. I like to think of myself as a loyal Wycelf Jean fan, but this time around this follow up disc came a little too late and therfore not many fresh ideas arose from his hiatis. I just wasn't inspired enough. All in all "Carnival vol 2" is laid back caribbean/hip-hop riddled, interesting listen. Not bad, but could have been greater.
Guest More than 1 year ago
O.K. I was wrong, I've put on a fresh pair of ears and listened to "Carnival vol 2" again in full length, and I have to say it's better than I previously claimed in my first review. It's a sumation of his debut, with equal parts "Creole 101," and "Preacher's Son". It's a fine album with an interesting mix of sounds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago