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Lucky Day

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Album Review

Both commercially and creatively, Hot Shot was a tough act to follow. That 2000 release boasted some of Shaggy's best work (including the naughty smash "It Wasn't Me"), and it sold an impressive ten million units internationally. So when the time came to record a follow-up, Shaggy no doubt felt the sort of pressure that Janet Jackson felt when she recorded a follow-up to Control. This October 2002 release is Shaggy's first album of new material since Hot Shot, although MCA did release an album of Shaggy remixes in early 2002. And even though Lucky Day isn't quite in a class with Hot Shot, it is still an enjoyable follow-up. The album is full of the type of congenial, good-natured crossover dancehall that Shaggy is best known for; those who don't mind the fact that Shaggy is very much a crossover artist won't be disappointed to learn that infectious ditties like "Get My Party On" (which boasts a cameo by guest Chaka Khan) and "Shake Shake Shake" have a lot of pop and urban contemporary appeal. But Lucky Day doesn't come across as formulaic, and Shaggy — for all his commercial moves — isn't afraid to offer some surprises. "Hey Sexy Lady" successfully fuses dancehall and funk with Spanish flamenco; it's an unlikely combination, but one that works. And Shaggy, who specializes in lighthearted fun, brings a surprisingly serious tone to "Lost" (a warning against the dangers of crime and street life) and "Walking in My Shoes" (which is about persevering despite challenges and adversity). Although not Shaggy's most essential album, Lucky Day is a rewarding effort that takes its share of chances — both musically and lyrically.


Born: 22 October 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Emerging in the early '90s, Shaggy was the biggest crossover success in dancehall reggae. Not only did he become the genre's most commercially potent artist in the international market, he was also more than just a typical flash in the pan, managing to sustain a career over the course of several highly popular albums. Perhaps in part because he wasn't based in Jamaica, he never really needed to have it both ways: virtually ignoring the hardcore dancehall crowd, his music was unabashedly geared toward...
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