Clothes Drop
November 9, 2005

Track list
  1. Clothes Drop
  2. Ready Fi Di Ride
  3. Broadway
  4. Wild 2Nite feat. Olivia
  5. Back In The Days feat. Rayvon
  6. Supa Hypnotic feat. Nicole Scherzinger
  7. Would you Be feat. Brian "Gold" Thompson
  8. Stand Up
  9. Repent
  10. Luv Me Up
  11. Ahead In Life
  12. Ultimatum
  13. Shut Up And Dance feat. Will.i.am
  14. Don't Ask Her That feat. Nicole Scherzinger
  15. Road Block feat. Rik Rok
  16. Gone With Angels
  17. Letter To My Kids
  18. Goodie, Goodie
  19. Sexy Gyal Whind
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
"Clothes Drop" is the latest studio album from Jamaican-born, New York-based dancehall/pop stalwart Shaggy (his real name incidentally is Orville Richard Burrell). Despite the fact that I have never been particularly keen on Shaggy's commercial hits and 'Mr Lover Lover' persona I was prepared to be as objective as possible and listened through the set several times.

The first two tracks of the album demonstrate perhaps the best and worst that the 'Mr Lover' themed style of track can deliver. The title track and opening cut "Clothes Drop" is a formulaic, banal offering and a disappointing start to the album, hardly worthy of titling the album. However, following on from this is the single "Ready Fi Di Ride" which is an altogether more successful and enjoyable attempt to convey Shaggy's 'prowess', strangely reminiscent of Beenie Man's 'King of The Dancehall'. The next two tracks follow the example of the first two. "Broadway" serves up Barrington Levy's classic 1985 "Here I Come (Broader than Broadway)" with Shaggy adding some extraneous and unworthy chatting over the top - an altogether pointless inclusion. Fortunately this is redeemed immediately by the annoyingly catchy single featuring Olivia, "Wild 2 Nite".

The hit and miss pattern of the first few tracks is one that pretty much applies to the album as a whole - I found about half the tracks enjoyable and the other half mediocre at best. Among the weaker tracks are the dodgy attempt at humour displayed in "Ahead In Life" and the watered-down R&B style that grates in the collaboration with Brian Thompson "Would You Be". Conversely, the relentless message of "Repent" shows that Shaggy can successfully deliver tracks about subjects other than his own popularity and proficiency; while the stripped down "Letter To My Kids" with its bass and vocals is an excellent lower tempo track.

Overall "Clothes Drop" is neither as bad as I feared it might be before I had listened to it nor as good as I felt it could have been once I had heard it. One of the main problems for me was that neither his style of music nor his vocals were engaging enough to sustain interest for an entire album. At 70 minutes (inc. bonus tracks), the album was simply too long. The stronger tracks are those which stay truer to a dancehall style and those which don't feel like filler tracks or watered-down content to try and create balance. The album has enough good tunes and well known singles to make it well worthwhile for all Shaggy and pop-oriented dancehall fans to consider picking up but if, like me, you're not an admirer then this certainly won't change your mind!