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Should I

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Album Review

There's "Stress All Over the World." Everywhere one goes it's emanating up from the streets and lanes, but Frankie Paul is here to help relieve the pressure with the fabulous Should I album. "Stress" is the sole cultural offering within; the rest of the set is replete with effusive love songs and crowd-pleasing dancehall ram-jammers. Of the latter, the cheery "Desert Eagle Talk" and driving "Slurt Me a Spurt" are guaranteed to fire up any party, fueled by Steely & Clevie's irrepressible rhythms, whose insistent beats, splatters of sampled effects, and vivacious melodic riffs light up the dreariest of get-togethers. But point of entry for most fans will be Should I's phenomenal title track. The song was written by Dennis Brown, but Paul's cover was the hit, and deservedly so, as it boasts one of the singer's most spectacular performances. That's one of a handful of covers within. His take on "I Miss You (Much Too Much)" is equally stellar, and Paul's performance and the urgent rhythm perfectly encapsulate the exhilaration of love's first flush; the same insistent rhythm fires Paul's own "One Night of Loving." A cover of Billy Joel's "Take My Breath Away" is nearly as good, but it's Paul's own "Ain't Nothing in This World" that finds the singer reaching new depths of soulfulness. Niney Holness's sharp production further hones the sound, stripping the beats to razor sharpness, while giving plenty of play to the melodies, showcasing Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson at his effervescent best. The result is a fabulous album for lovers or those just searching for a good time.


Born: 1965 in Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Frankie Paul is often referred to as Jamaica's Stevie Wonder, and not just because of his visual impairment; like Wonder, he was a talented multi-instrumentalist with a tremendous vocal range. He was also extraordinarily prolific; part of the first wave of dancehall artists, he started his recording career in earnest during the early '80s, and has since flooded the market with product, releasing countless singles and well over 30 albums. That's made his career difficult to track for all but the most...
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Should I, Frankie Paul
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