Thursday, 4 February 2010

2001 Shaggy: Angel

I've had a lot of time for Shaggy's reggae fusion output to date, largely because I've always had a lot of time for reggae per se, but the wink in Shaggy's vocal has always helped add the extra icing. But despite all that, I can't honestly say I'm all that taken with 'Angel'. Maybe it's because by now I've heard it all before - and I don't just mean the genre style either. Whilst never going so far as to kick over any statues, 'It Wasn't Me' was at least an original song delivered with a humour that endeared. 'Angel', on the other hand, takes its main melody from Chip Taylor's 'Angel Of The Morning' and its backbone from a bassline sampled from Steve Miller's 'The Joker', both of which are distinctive enough in my mind to effectively cancel out anything Shaggy has to add, almost to the extent that his input is redundant. And that input in itself is at best opaque, with a surface lyric of love and devotion hiding cryptic "She was there through my incarceration" clues that give it a vague 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon' theme that never fully reveals itself. Some enthusiastic toasting from Rayvon adds to the (over) familiarity, but ultimately the whole is just about solid enough to drown out the sound of the scrapes as the bottom of the barrel makes itself known. Only just mind.

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