If you’re reading the name Collie Buddz and wondering if that could be the same Collie Buddz from wayyy back when, then you’d be right, your eyes are not deceiving you. Lord knows I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it either, and I was a big fan of his. His debut album was in consistent rotation back in high school and his song “Come Around” is still one of my favorite reggae songs to date; but ten years is a long, even longer in the music industry. I don’t know what made him finally come back but I was eager to find out if he still had it with his new album, Good Life.
I’ve never been the biggest reggae fan out there, I find a lot of it to be very hit and miss, but Collie Buddz was one of the first reggae albums I enjoyed in it’s entirety. It was probably more mainstream than what most fans would consider true reggae but that was probably the reason why I liked it so much. He wasn’t afraid to implement hip-hop and pop into his sound, and he did it to great effect. It’s been so long since I last heard that album, but my initial reaction to Good Life is that it’s even more commercial sounding than that one. Songs like “I Got You”, “Used To”, and “Yesterday” are straight up tropical pop songs. There are the more traditional reggae songs like “Control” and “Glass House” but the majority of the album is more tropical pop leaning, which is actually a smart move seeing as that’s where the mainstream sound is leaning towards already, and naturally he’s much better at these songs than the average artist. The production, while more mainstream than I expected, is fantastic; it was impossible not find myself grooving with the album from beginning to end.
“End of the month come the rent nuh pay but fuck it
Tell the boss not coming in today me ducking
Cause the party a shot and me nah leave
And me have a hot gyal a swear she waan breed.
Cause anywhere the good vibes deh me love it
Music a fi mi life put nuttin’ above it”
I know that a lot of reggae can have a strong message hidden behind their laid back vibes and it’s roots go much deeper than music. But Collie Buddz always felt like a visitor, tending to circle around the edges picking from the milder aspects of the music and culture. He makes laid back, carefree music, that’s meant to be enjoyed on a surface level and does so to an even greater degree on Good Life. It’s a fun, easy listen that doesn’t have much meat to it, but will sound great at a festival.
Have you heard Good Life? What’d you think about it? Do you think Collie Buddz came back with a big enough splash for being away for almost a decade? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the album.