The experience of a dance club would possess all of the following: sexy/appealing women persistently ordering drink after drink on another man’s tab while ever-so-swiftly stirring her hips back and forth in coordination with her man of choice. No matter what the club is known for (hi-hop, techno, dancehall, etc.), you will always find at LEAST 15 of those scenarios a night. With that image rolling through your head, imagine the music in which these mini-skirted babes and money-machine men dance to. Let me help – Usher. Kevin Lyttle. DJ mixes of Rihanna, Nadia, etc., etc. And of course, Jamaican reggae artist Sean Paul.
Imperial Blaze is Sean Paul’s fourth consecutive album, emerging from the unknown with nothing less than a “blaze.” His first single, “So Fine,” pulsates a beat so sick that I believe it would be a rare amazement to see a dance routine of any count showcased with perfection. Hell, I’m dumbfounded over the mere fact that Sean Paul can pronounce his own lyrics to such intense music. “She Want Me,” with a beat that gallops like horses in a race, coolly verifies Paul’s capabilities as he struts his ego all over the track. “Daddy’s Home” carries on that same self-confidence but includes a catchier hook, which repeats, “Girl you know your daddy’s home.” “Wine Baby Wine” pretty much follows suit in having a catchy hook along with lyrics that are accented so strongly as well as many syllables in just one phrase. If you don’t listen closely you will find yourself lost after just one split second.
More than half the album would work as a full 30 minutes of extreme dance floor insanity. Even “Private Party” has a title that tips off the notion of the song, a “private party/ time to get naughty.” “Evening Ride” and “Press It Up” have a bit more edge to them than the others; it definitely works for Sean Paul. His image alone is badass, with his cornrows, sexy facial hair and swagger that makes him look quite thuggish…hardcore possibly.
On top of stimulating women into a dance floor sex session, Sean Paul also makes breathtaking music for those who would love to move to a slower reggae song without losing her sense of sexiness. Among Imperial Blaze, all arrows would point towards “Pepperpot,” “Straight From My Heart” and “Hold My Hand,” featuring superstar Keri Hilson. Each of these is a daydream of a perfect sunset over blue hues of crystal clear ocean water, swaying back and forth with a lover. Ahh…I can only imagine. They also speak of scenarios that ensure he (Sean Paul, that is) will always be there for his girl. “Now That I’ve Got Your Love” somewhat falls in this romance category only it is more of an upbeat track. And also, it seems to me that Paul has to actually work to keep a relationship with a woman in this song. Phrases like, “And all these things/ Keep running through my mind/ Confusing every time/ ‘Cause you ain’t really mine” give off a vibe of uncertainty at times. Either way, it’s a good track, but where did that ego go?
Now one of the tracks that I am just not completely smitten by is “Bruk Out.” I think may be a mixture of cheap-quality sound and lyrics that I just cannot connect with, but there is more than one thing off with this one.
I am especially blissful over the fact that I got to review such a great album. Entering this week’s task, I was unsure of what the result would be. But here you have it, an artist that has again beat himself out of his own game. Sean Paul’s best album so far, right here, folks. Enjoy it as much as I did.
By: Mika Tatich
Posted by Mike Denslow at Aug 30, 2009 08:35 PM