Like most people, I’ve become most familiar with Popcaan through his numerous big name features over the year, in particular the career trajectory changing work he did with Drake. Looking to rightfully cash in on all of those new eyes and ears, he’s returned with a project all his own. Forever may not boast any of those big names he’s worked with but it’s clearly aimed at bridging the gap and finding that crossover success so few reggae/dancehall artists find. This is island pop if I’ve ever heard it and it’s brimming with bright sounds and positivity. Now, like with most acts from the genre I can only understand about every fifth word but he has a strong grasp on melodies and his cadences make for a largely enjoyable listen. The more romantic elements of the album can feel a bit contrite but when he really digs into his positive messaging things really start to shine, like when the full blown choir kicks in at the end of “Firm and Strong”, it’s hard not to get swept up in the emotion of it all. I don’t think Forever will quite be that mainstream success Popcaan is hoping for but it does establish him as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, names in the genre at the moment. And it’s overwhelming positivity is admirable at the least.
Dem still caan defeat me
Read psalms daily, deeply
Some people nuh believe me
One shoes mi used to rock every party
Hungry used to kick me like Karate
Give thanks seh mi made it
– “A Wha Suh”
Have you heard Forever? What’d you think about it? Do you think Popcaan found that right crossover balance? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
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