17 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gyptian burst unexpectedly on the contemporary reggae scene with “Serious Times,” an understated lament that blended an insistent, surprisingly traditional nyabinghi rhythm with a flowing pop melody. The song was one of 2005’s most popular, and its simple arrangement stood out on Jamaican radio at a time when even roots artists were embracing ever more elaborate production techniques. A handful of similar singles followed. In 2010, long-awaited crossover success arrived in the form of “Hold You”, a beguiling string of patois-laden romantic endearments buttressed by a smooth, R&B-inflected arrangement from producer Imran “Fire Peter” Passard. Where many of Gyptian’s previous efforts featured contributions from roots veterans like Bingi Bunny, Dean Fraser, and Earl “Chinna” Smith, Hold You largely abandons roots textures for a more modern production aesthetic. Gyptian’s vocals even get the Auto-Tune treatment on the languorous slow jam “Drive Me Crazy”. He handles them all with the effortless grace of a first-rate singer and shines throughout.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gyptian burst unexpectedly on the contemporary reggae scene with “Serious Times,” an understated lament that blended an insistent, surprisingly traditional nyabinghi rhythm with a flowing pop melody. The song was one of 2005’s most popular, and its simple arrangement stood out on Jamaican radio at a time when even roots artists were embracing ever more elaborate production techniques. A handful of similar singles followed. In 2010, long-awaited crossover success arrived in the form of “Hold You”, a beguiling string of patois-laden romantic endearments buttressed by a smooth, R&B-inflected arrangement from producer Imran “Fire Peter” Passard. Where many of Gyptian’s previous efforts featured contributions from roots veterans like Bingi Bunny, Dean Fraser, and Earl “Chinna” Smith, Hold You largely abandons roots textures for a more modern production aesthetic. Gyptian’s vocals even get the Auto-Tune treatment on the languorous slow jam “Drive Me Crazy”. He handles them all with the effortless grace of a first-rate singer and shines throughout.

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