[VP Records; July 2010]
Lovers Rock's Leading Romeo
They say nothing’s certain in life, but if there’s one thing we feel pretty darn confident about it’s that Gyptian knows lovers rock. The Jamaican crooner’s fourth album, Hold You, is a convincing testament to his mastery of reggae’s romantic sub-genre. (It is also, incidentally, a 15-track persuasion piece on why Gyptian is quite possibly dreamiest man on the planet.)
The 2010 LP traffics in mid-tempo love reggae that exudes maturity and confidence. There’s nothing (explicitly) dutty to be found in here and, as we’ve noted with the slyly-sexy title track and breakout chune “Hold You (Hold Yuh),” the album’s so much stronger because of it. Hold You showcases the Kingston-based artist’s supple, velvety voice, textured by his lilting, r&b-like melismatic singing style, atop comforting island beats and melodies.
Electro instrumentation (in the form of electric guitars, keyboards, and rhythm machines) does the heavy-lifting on Hold You but Gyptian’s vocals, on “Na Na Na (A Love Song)” for example, more than pick up the slack and rises to the occasion. Other standout album tracks include: “Nah Let Go,” “Call Gyptian,” and “Hold You (Hold Yuh).” In its entirety, Hold You works both as a formidable follow-up from an artist with four full-length productions under his belt, as well as an excellent primer for one of Jamaica’s most exciting exports.