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SHOK WAVE is your weekly new REGGAE music blog. SHOK WAVE finds music that is out there in the form of Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Ska, Dub, Reggae Rock & anything else musical with a Caribbean origin and in any language.

Here is what we found this week.......Enjoy!


Glen Washington "I'm Living Well"
Glen Washington has maintained his consistency just like the veteran he is, just not credited. He's been singing professionally since the 1960's and is still striving. He got his break in the early 1990's as a singing drummer for a backing band based in New York City. He would sing Beres Hammond songs and at the time he was mashing up the place. This eventually led to him fronting the band. This created more of buzz which caught the ear of Clement Dodd of Studio One and the rest was history.The Shenk I Shenk riddim starts off the album under the song called 'Play Mr. Music Play.' This has to be the anthem of the album as it's a true testament to Glen. You see this is the man that will never stop 'Pressing On.' Glen has always been one of love and when a man and a woman fall in love it's a special feeling. You can feel it in 'I Found Me A Love.' Love is also a 'Crazy Kinda Sweet Thing.' This song has a real nice vibe to it. When all these things are in place Mr Washington has one choice, 'I'm Living Well.' When it's not he still has to give it to the 'Old Hypocrites.' Hypocrites can be a problem. A problem is only a problem if you let it become a problem. So when 'You Were Meant For Me,' we can overcome any problem together. So do not let a problem become a problem. It's also like you 'Can't Get Away From Love.' 'Let The Sunshine' all over your rainbow and 'Let Me Be The One,' says Glen. Love is a 'Real Good Feeling' and that's what kind of feeling he will give you because
he's a true lover. 'This One Is Bigger Than Me' and that's how we are left this time around. Glen just has a good vibe all around. All his music is good. Some are just better than others. Now you decide which ones are best.

Buju Banton "Upside Down 20/20"
There has been nonstop excitement around Buju Banton since his release from prison. Just to see the man free again was a joyous site, then to hear from him and then to have the option to see him during his 'Long Walk To Freedom.' tour. It's been a spectacle. One that makes you feel good for the man. Now the next chapter is happening right now. It is the release of his new album with all new music from the Gargamel, Buju Banton. It comes in the shape of "Upside Down 20/20.' The album opens with 'Lamb Of God,' a song that asks to have 'mercy on me.' Its set to a hymnal type of vibe. Then goes into 'Yes Mi Friend' with Stephen Marley, the one that was the highlight of the 2019 Jamrock cruise. It's a version of Bob Marley's 'Duppy Conqueror.' Was Buju Banton 'Buried Alive?' His third song that states that fact of 'Buried Alive,' so we ask the question. It has an acoustic reggae, rock feel. He says 'I'm still breathing and there must be a reason.' Dancehall vibes enter with 'Blessed.' By this time you are getting the feeling that there's more to this than just the music, excitement, the performances. It feels like this is a mission that has just been rejuvenated. So we can't help to think where Buju has been especially with those 'Memories' that features John Legend. This brings back the feel of their first collaboration 'Can't Be My Lover.' Buju says that he has found a new love in 'Lovely State Of Mind' & 'Appreciated.' Definitely, a focus on a lover or lovers of Buju. Here's another in 'Good Time Girl.' Has a doo wap feel. It definitely has that good time feel, too. Seaking of the ladies 'Call Me' has a dancehall vibe with Stefflon Don. Dancehall vibes return with producer Dave Kelly  on 'Trust.' One of the singles that released before the album. I really liked the remix with Tory Lanez. Another high profile guest in Pharrell Williams happens in the dancehall/pop tune 'Cherry Pie.' 'Beat Dem Bad' seems to be my favorite tune on the album so far. This is a vibesy tune, feels like old Buju with a hint of new. 'Moonlight Love' has that classic reggae feel with a modern twist. More love, there's alot of love on this album, that's always a good thing. I am feeling it. Now anything that is so good has a bad side to it. It comes in the form of 'Cheated' and you lied. 'Steppa' is another song released pre-album and also has a dancehall vibe of the 80's with it's electric drums and older sounding keyboards. Steppa in this case is like a rudeboy. 'The World Is Changing' is obviously a very relevant song with the times. The interesting thing I heard Buju say in an interview, is that the album was named long before there was any pandemic in "Upside Down 20/20." Buju has always been very proactive in the fight against the system and how they treat Africans. '400 Tears' is a testament to that dedication in a binghi style. It extends in 'Rising Up' as revolution is happening everywhere. 'Helping Hand' is the vibe I like off this album. It's just roots reggae with a good message to always help. African sounds end the album with 'Unity.' I love the jazzy trumpet sounds into the sax. A song that brings everyone together to end the album.'Upside Down' has it's moments. It has something for everyone. It's not one of his best and wont win a Grammy, it is a nice return. I feel it lacks the depth of the Buju, his spirituality and his hardcore dancehall and raspy voice. There are glimpses of stellar, we just never get the fullness of it.


Vybz Kartel "Of Dons & Divas"
The self-proclaimed world boss also says 'Of Dons & Divas'  will win a Grammy. The dancehall don of the 2000's has never been short of talent or staying on the lips of the media, this album continues to cement his status in Jamaican culture and musical circles. Expect dancehall elements of all kinds: hardcore lyrics & topics, hard riddims, and controversy. The guest list is deeper than clubs. Those include: Skillibeng, Jucee Froot, Tommy Lee, Lisa Hyper, JonFX, Sikka Rymes, Lisa Mercedes, Likkle Vybz, Slimatic, Likkle Addi, Redboom, Danii Boo, Teejay & Squash. I like dancehall. The album is a bit hard & dirty for me. I love melody & I love talent. Those come together on 'Say A Praya.' Where he's talking to a lady to do what the title says in case he dies tonight. A dancehall moment comes for me in 'It Was Heaven,' a dancehall love affair that is the cleanest dancehall tune on the album, too.This one for the hardcore dancehall fans.

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