Early this spring Jamaican-born teenager Sean Kingston (given name Kesean Anderson) was first introduced to American music audiences via a hardcore rap song titled "Colors" depicting his difficult upbringing. Later in the year the smash hit "Beautiful Girls" introduced a more gentle, pop-friendly Sean Kingston. It is this second incarnation that dominates Kingston's self-titled debut to impressive effect. This collection of songs add up to a true summer pop gem.
Classic Pop and Rock In a Dancehall Blender
Borrowing from classic pop and rock, Sean Kingston applies his own approach to Jamaican dancehall to create instantly catchy ear candy. Led Zeppelin's "D'Yer Mak'er" comes out as the fuel behind the hook in "Me Love" pining for lost love. Samples from Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" add instant familiarity to "I Can Feel It." David Lee Roth's version of "I Ain't Got Nobody" and Roth's inimitable testosterone-fuled personality seem to inspire "Got No Shorty," and, of course, Ben E. King's classic "Stand By Me" provides the base for "Beautiful Girls."
A Nod to Sean Kingston's Rough Background
Sean Kingston's rough background growing up in lower income Miami neighborhoods and on his own with his mother in prison is not ignored on this debut album. "Change" expresses a desire to make significant changes in the plight of impoverished families. "Dry Your Eyes" attempts to comfort his mother promising "Just like Rihanna you can stand under my umbrella." The line "I inherited gang bangin' from my mother" on "Colors" exposes Kingston's harsh environment. Rarely has such a young artist combined such sweet pop sensibilities with an awareness of intense street reality.
Top Tracks on 'Sean Kingston'
- Me Love
- Beautiful Girls
- Dry Your Eyes
- Got No Shorty
- I Can Feel It
One of the Top Teen Artist Debuts
It might be necessary to go back to Britney Spears' debut ...Baby One More Time almost 10 years ago to find another teen artist debut that is so self-assured and satisfying. There is very little filler on Sean Kingston and it shows a well-rounded artist with a gift for pop melody. Look for this album to have legs through the end of 2007.