Wednesday, July 8, 1998

Review - Many Moods of Moses

Artist: Beenie Man

Posted on Wed, Jul 8, 1998 at 4:00 AM

As Shabba Ranks proved a few years back, an artist who can apply hip-hop's indigenous flavors and production values to dancehall reggae holds serious crossover potential on the U.S. pop charts. Now meet Moses Davis (a.k.a. Beenie Man) and check the many moods he explores on his fourth and highest profile U.S. release. "Many Moods Of Moses" presents an artist with such command of his art that it's hard to deny his dancehall supremacy.

Beenie Man dabbles in various styles and successfully works new sounds into dancehall's framework. From the Zulu chant-sing of "Introlude" to the rudimentary drum & bass of "Monster Look," Beenie Man expands dancehall's vocabulary far enough to leave stretch marks. He creates a new blueprint for an international dancehall sound on "Who Am I," flaunting hip-hop swagger over Jeremy Harding's sophisticated production.

At its most extreme, "Many Moods" sounds like a multiple-personality disorder: Compare the anti-Christian sentiments of "Heaven On Earth" to the gospel of "Got To Be There," or the promiscuous sex of "Have You Ever" with the African consciousness of "Steve Biko." Schizophrenic as he is, Beenie Man is the new dancehall king.


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