Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Music Box: Jamaica Edition- Denyque, Cherine Anderson and Protoje

I decided I wanted to share my opinions on some videos/songs from some Jamaicans. This may become a new feature of the blog or it may just be something I do whenever I feel so inclined. I may expand to artists who are not Jamaican, I may review movies and other forms of entertainment. I don’t know what niche my blog fits into if it even fits into one and I’m ok with that, to be honest. Trying to speak on just one area or blog about one aspect of my life (being a Jamaican studying overseas) has really been too restrictive for me and that may be why I haven’t posted a post like that in a while even after I have retained a new laptop charger and now have access to the pictures. Feeling free to blog as I wish about whatever is on my mind is the key to me improving as a blogger, I think. As it pertains to the music box features or any features in which I give my opinions on something in entertainment, do not expect to see words typically used in reviews by professionals or wannabe-pros. I do not naturally use most of the language these people use and I would not feel comfortable trying to imitate it. In truth, it bores me so I’m not interested in speaking like that. Also, I won’t be reviewing evry how new song or album or video. I’m not aiming to be a music blogger. Just blogging as I see fit. Thanks in advance for understanding. Now on to the post

I stopped by my girl MszRockstar's site and saw the latest visual offering from dancehall artist Denyque called I Miss You.

This video reminds me of Chrisette Michelle’s latest offering “Charades” because of the extended series-of-glamour-shots treatment. It’s a simple video that suits the song and it helps a great deal that Denyque is a very pretty girl. I don’t get why she wiped the makeup off. I assume it was to be symbolism for stripping down since she had taken off some of her jewelry right before. Still, it changes to black and white so we don’t really get to see her barefaced. Also, why was it raining? Where are you, Denyque, that water is falling from above and wetting you? Was this all a ploy to plant the image of a wet you in our minds? Well played, mama.  As for the song, it’s a nice tune. Reminds me a lot of something Alaine would do. In fact, her voice started sounding more and more like Alaine’s with each chorus. Overall, the song and video are a decent effort. One thing I do remember each time I hear a Denyque song is when a friend of mine said that Denyque won’t truly have major success in Jamaica until she has a “walk out” song. There may be some truth to this but we’ll see. It seems likely that she’ll go the route of Alaine if she continues like this and that would be a bit sad because Alaine’s career is not at the level it should be given how talented she is. Still, Denyque is a fresher face and a risk-taker from early on, as we can see with her look, so hopefully this means she has more in store for us and is going to try her hand at different sounds and she’ll be charming enough to make us like what we typically would not openly embrace.
Rating: 3/5 high notes

I also stopped by SwadeDaVillain's site 13th Street Promotions and viewed the videos for Cherine Anderson’s “Haffi Come Back” and Protoje’s “Kingston Be Wise”

First up: Cherine

The title had me skeptical. You should know by now that I am wary of the played out theme of “my punani is the best and it’s what keeps my man”. When I heard the title, I thought “This would be something to brag about if he never left in the first place” but I listened to the song and I assume she meant that he doesn’t leave for another woman but for work or something else instead. Fine. I’ll let that slide. What DID bother me though was a line where she said “ring pony uh finga but a ya so him de”. Points lost for this. I am seriously over women boasting about sharing men. All I hear is how much joy they get from increasing their risk of contracting STDs. I must admit that I like the melody. It’s a pretty catchy tune. I may sing along and ignore that flub of a line. But let me move on to the video. Cherine is clearly feeling herself and getting comfortable with displaying her sexuality and dance skills. I like the confidence and the choreography when she is backed by the dancers although it’s very simple. I see that Cherine has been experimenting with her sound and look and she has certainly changed since she first came on the scene. I like that she is showing her diversity with this one but I do hope she doesn’t go down the cliché and worn out route of sexual explicitness lyrically and visually just to get some more spins on the airwaves lest she end up as just another forgotten face who had potential.
Rating: 3/5 high notes

Next up: Protoje

There is a serious love affair between Jamaicans and Protoje. Is this with good reason? I can’t yet assess. I have yet to listen to his debut album “7 year itch” in its entirety. I’ll save that for a future post. (That’s right, I will also do reviews of things that are not “hot right now”. Strap yourselves in J ). But back to the present. There has been a hype these past couple of weeks around Protoje’s latest single- Kingston Be Wise and everyone seemed to be loving the artist’s latest offering. This didn’t make me skeptical but it didn’t make me rush to listen to it either. I finally stumbled upon it at 13th Street Promotions and I must say, I enjoyed the video. The song reminds me of retro dancehall or dubstep tunes with the slightly incoherent-person-talking-on-a-loudspeaker delivery of the chorus. It didn’t seem like it was trying too hard and that’s what made it work for me. I’m not sure how I would have felt if I had just heard the song without the video (I probably would not be as enthused about it) but that does not matter now because I am just so thrilled at the video- snapshots of Kingston landmarks- the good and the not-so-good. I think it’s a nod to my slight narcissism and my love of everything that is me, a part of me or that I am a part of. I love seeing a part of my homeland (oh, snap! Isn’t Africa my homeland? Haha) displayed so beautifully and honestly. 

I see the concept of his video and it could very well have gone for a purely gritty or raw feel and run the risk of alienating viewers but, thankfully, it did not. It could have gone for a “Come to Jamaica” tourist vibe and only show the usual children splashing in water (‘cause that’s all we do really, isn’t it?-_-) and included shots of a man chopping a coconut while we all held hands and danced and laughed because we have no cares in the world. But that definitely would not have matched the lyrics. Speaking of lyrics- maybe this is because I tend to need 3-5 listens to really pay keen attention to lyrics but nothing really grabbed me about his verses. It was the chorus and video that had me sold on this one. The video had its darker moments when he starts mentioning the crime and death situation and we see coffins and cemeteries. This made me slightly uncomfortable but I assume that was the intention. I watched it and at the end, all I could think to describe the visuals was “real”.
Rating: 3.75 high notes

Take all my ratings with a grain of bias because some songs grow on me and some start to annoy me and I really only gave these videos two views each so I may have missed a couple things.

Share your thoughts if you are so inclined J

Disclaimer: Picture at the top was taken from Google images


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