14 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Portmore’s finest dancehall chanter, Vybz Kartel, has produced some of the most authentically vibrant, sometimes dangerous-sounding music to emerge from the mainstream of Jamaican dancehall in some time. Kingston Story represents something of a stylistic departure for Kartel. Where his previous full-lengths have been compiled from an eclectic hodge-podge of dancehall-proven singles, Kingston Story is a concerted collaboration with a single producer, Dre Skull, who’s famous for dabbling in everything from indie-electro to hip-hop to hardcore dancehall. Consequently, Kingston Story boasts a more consistent sound than any of Kartel’s previous albums, but it’s also miles removed from the gritty, lo-fi riddims over which Kartel made his name. Yet he certainly sounds good paired with Dre Skull’s glossy, electro-flecked dancehall. Singles like “Yuh Love” and “Go Go Wine” have all of the openhearted crossover appeal of Kartel’s earlier concessions to the pop market, like 2011’s breezy anthem “Summertime.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Portmore’s finest dancehall chanter, Vybz Kartel, has produced some of the most authentically vibrant, sometimes dangerous-sounding music to emerge from the mainstream of Jamaican dancehall in some time. Kingston Story represents something of a stylistic departure for Kartel. Where his previous full-lengths have been compiled from an eclectic hodge-podge of dancehall-proven singles, Kingston Story is a concerted collaboration with a single producer, Dre Skull, who’s famous for dabbling in everything from indie-electro to hip-hop to hardcore dancehall. Consequently, Kingston Story boasts a more consistent sound than any of Kartel’s previous albums, but it’s also miles removed from the gritty, lo-fi riddims over which Kartel made his name. Yet he certainly sounds good paired with Dre Skull’s glossy, electro-flecked dancehall. Singles like “Yuh Love” and “Go Go Wine” have all of the openhearted crossover appeal of Kartel’s earlier concessions to the pop market, like 2011’s breezy anthem “Summertime.”

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