New York

New York

by Yellowman

CD

Overview

Yellowman has triumphed over so much adversity in his life and long career that you really hate to do anything other than praise him, even when his work isn't actually as good as it could be. As a child, he suffered both from poverty and the social stigma attached to his albino coloring (hence his stage name); after overcoming both and becoming one of Jamaica's most popular entertainers, he was stricken with cancer of the jaw, which required radical facial surgery. But not even a close brush with death and facial disfigurement have kept Yellowman off the stage or out of the studio, and the only proper response is respect. That said, though, New York is something of a disappointment. It's not a terrible album by any means -- it includes such fine numbers as "Family Man" (in which he demonstrates a certain amount of ambivalence over his much-heralded return to mischievous slackness) and the politically ambiguous "Leave Iraq Alone," as well as the catchy "Freedom Walk" and a top-notch combination track with Ce'Cile. But the artificially Latin flavor of "Spanish Girl" can't hide the fact that it's a song consisting of two chords and a single idea, and "Work Out" and "That Girl" are among the most plodding and pedestrian songs of Yellowman's career. Better rhythms would have made a world of difference, of course, but Yellowman used to be able to spin gold out of straw when it came to instrumental accompaniment. He doesn't need to retire, but he does need to shake himself and get back down to business.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/18/2003
Label: Sanctuary Records
UPC: 0060768991224
catalogNumber: 89912

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