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Yellowman Meets the Paragons

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Album Review

Yellowman sounds like he has slowed down a step on Yellowman Meets the Paragons but still has the twisted sense of humor that makes his DJing style so unique. Influenced by Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, Yellowman makes use of Army-style call-and-response chanting. He takes one or two rhymes directly from the film but chooses to play over the rhythm himself. The rhymes don't always make sense, but it's forgivable. For any other performer, the Army drill call and response would seem unbearable, but Yellowman's sense of humor is always a consideration. Yellowman's DJing isn't as strong as on his classic albums like One in a Million or Mister Yellowman, but he hasn't completely fallen off. The tracks are significant because he is taking on a more modern dancehall style. His tribute to monkeys, called "Dedicated to You," shows he can still keep pace and knock out some strange rhymes. Yellowman albums never slip because his style is so bizarre. The Paragons provide new rhythms that give Yellowman the perfect chance to flash his DJing skills. They are a small departure from the tracks that made Yellowman famous, but he handles them all the same. "Yello a the Don" almost equals his most legendary hits. Of course, the subject is women and his talent as a love maker. The Paragons add five tracks of their own to the album. All five of the tracks are rhythm-driven roots reggae that does the style more than justice. "Positive Movements" sounds incredibly similar to any one of Bad Brains' early-'80s reggae tracks. The vocalist could easily be mistaken for H.R. because they both share a laid-back sound that still manages to be forceful. When the Paragons are on their own, they are a solid roots reggae band. The collaboration between Yellowman and the Paragons is a worthwhile project. Yellowman's rhymes haven't faded, and he still has that weird edge that keeps his style fresh.

Yellowman Meets the Paragons, Yellowman/Paragons
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