Thursday, July 29, 2010

Romain Virgo and Gyptian Reviews

Romain Virgo - Romain Virgo
Romain Virgo is a twenty-year-old Jamaican singer who has just released a stellar self-titled debut album. I’ve seen YouTube videos of him covering Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” on Digicel’s Rising Stars show, which he won in 2007. It is a tribute to his soulful voice that he does the original proud. Simply put, Romain has a gorgeous voice, one of the best I’ve heard in a while. It is smooth as silk, warm as a Jamaican summer, and rich with emotion. He conveys longing, joy, sadness, and heartbreak, often in the same song.

The album starts off with “Mi Caan’ Sleep,” a deceptively upbeat track. Over the bouncy “Feel Good” riddim, Romain sings about stress-induced insomnia. The verses are all about the violence and problems in the world, but the chorus sounds like a celebration. He acknowledges the bad in the world, but refuses to let it get him down. He’s less joyful on “Murderer,” an angry condemnation of violent youth, warning them “Jah Jah gonna school ya.”

Romain doesn’t spend too much of his time worrying about trouble and strife. Much of the album is R&B influenced slow jams, complete with the occasional (and totally unnecessary) Auto-Tune. It is a testament to his talent that he makes cheesy songs like “Love Doctor” palatable. While I wasn’t as impressed with the numerous love ballads, the uptempo tracks like “Customer Care” and “Live Mi Life” were enough to win me over. This is an excellent album and a must-hear for anyone into contemporary reggae.

Gyptian - Hold You
If Romain Virgo is an artist you need to hear, Gyptian is an artist you can’t escape from. His hit “Hold You” has been ubiquitous, most recently appearing as a remix with Nikki Minaj. Gyptian specializes in slick love songs, and comes off like a Jamaican Usher. He has a good voice, although like Romain Virgo, dabbles unnecessarily in Auto-Tune.

Most of this was too polished for my tastes, although I did enjoy “Leave Us Alone,” and I have to admit that Gyptian does what he does very well. Hold You is tasteful, well-done babymaking music, pure and simple. This is sure to be the soundtrack for countless late night romantic encounters. If you can’t get enough of “Hold You” the song, then Hold You the album should be more than enough to give you your Gyptian fix.

Article first published as Music Review: Romain Virgo and Gyptian on Blogcritics.

No comments:

Blog Archive