Monday, August 09, 2004

The last Beenie Man album I heard was Art and Life, which had some truly great songs on it, like the title track and that one with the guy from the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. (It also had some truly godawful songs, like the one with Wyclef and the one with Mya.) I've always had a tendency to write Beenie off because his big American singles ("Who Am I" and that one with Janet Jackson) have been boring and annoying. But Beenie Man is really good! I have a lot of good feelings toward Art and Life, even though I haven't listened to it in a few years. And his new one, Back to Basics, is a really solid, enjoyable listen, a whole hell of a lot better than Ragga Ragga Ragga 2004. Beenie does two things vocally that I like: he can do the big, epic fire-and-brimstone bird-of-prey throaty righteous roar thing, and he can do the fun, playfully insouciant girls-love-me party-up thing. And a lot of the time he'll switch from one to the other on the same song. Back to Basics doesn't really have any spectacularly great songs like the ones on Art and Life, but it also doesn't have any clunkers. It's really consistent and breezy and fun, with great choruses and hot beats with names that I don't know (except Coolie Dance; I know that one) and a whole lot of sex and play and fun and a couple of really good religious songs at the end. I'd even call it a great record except that I flinch every time I hear a lyric like "slap a white girl she turn red" or whatever. I really don't think Beenie Man hates women; his music is way too fun and inviting and inclusive to be made by a guy who hates half of the human race. But why does he have to act like he does? It's stupid and embarrassing and infuriating and ridiculous and I'm sick of trying to defend guys who do it. Stop it, Beenie Man. (Beenie Man may actually hate gay people, which is a whole other story, but I didn't hear any explicitly homophobic lyrics on Back to Basics, which may just mean that I wasn't listening closely enough or his accent is too thick but whatever.)