ABOUT THE ARTIST:
In Jamaica it seems that everyone is given at least one nickname. Most reggae artists choose their alias as a stage name. For example; One time I was seen kicking back in Jamaica and someone gave me the name "Tan-so-back" (kicking back). Another my brother was walking down a Montego Bay street returning from a grocery store with a bag of bread in his hand and he has aptly given the name "Bread Bwoy." You get the idea... So when a former secular up-and-coming entertainer gave his life to Christ and went back to witness to his former friends, you can imagine why he was quickly given the appellation "Mr. Goddy Goddy." I can picture his former sparring deejays bawling out; "Yo! Check missa Goddy Goddy, cha, all de man talk 'bout ah God!" The name stuck with him, and this burgeoning young artist is also stuck in the minds and on the lips of the fickle Jamaican gospel contingency.
When I first met Goddy Goddy he was performing at Prison Oval in Spanish Town. He was headlining a massive gospel event. This is a significant feat for a relative newcomer. At this legendary venue made famous by a vintage Barrington Levy Song, all eyes were on Mr. Goddy Goddy. And let me tell you, the "Prison Oval Rocked" that night as Goddy tore the place up with his unique story telling abilities that were obviously inspired by Lt. Stitchie. I was amazed at how massive the crowd response was. But I was even more blown away when I learned that he didn't even have an album out at that time. Yet the audience was singing along to every word and mesmerized by his antics. I later learned that the audience memorized his lyrics from seeing so many of his shows and taping his live concerts off of the radio. I can't tell you how many times he was forced to "wheel and come again" that evening. It had to be in the dozens.
Before long the Jamaican audience made him one of the most popular live acts in Jamaica's gospel reggae market. This is a pretty massive buzz for an artist that just recently released his first solo effort.
SONG BY SONG REVIEW:
If famed dancehall artist Shaggy has taught us anything in the last few years, it is that everyone has to have their own unique sound in Jamaican music. From the howlings of Tiger, to the squeamish Major Mackerel, and even the gravel throated sounds of Buju Banton, every artist needs their own recognizable style. If this is the case, then Goddy sounds like a Jamaican Muppet. Perhaps Kermit's big brother?
On Track one, over a hip hop beat, casiophonic claps and some sweet piano playing, Goddy gives a virtually monotone delivery with flawless timing on "Not Welcome." The one thing that is least welcome on this track is the off key female background vocals. But this just makes you appreciate Goddy all the more.
The dancehall continues on "Praises." Over a traditional steppers rhythm, and a praiseworthy singing chorus, Goddy delivers his powerful testimony the best way he can--in thick Jamaican Patois. Next in line, Pocomania collides with old school dancehall and spitfire vocals on "Whole Armour." This song was obviously inspired by Ephesians chapter six and Stitchie's "War."
The title track "Goddy Goddy" has a very original dancehall beat and some jazzy piano-clever. The instrumental of this song would fit just right on the soundtrack for the next 007 installment. This is probably the best musical/lyrical nourishement on this lp.
"Spiritual Kitchen" is a church anthem in which Goddy uses his clever story telling abilities and humor to get his point across. In the vein of Stitchie's patent style, this tune takes you from the grocery store to the kitchen. There are many sides to any personality, and on "More Love," featuring Andrew Diedrick, Goddy tests the waters of roots reggae with a singer/DJ combination. On this track he trades his animated sound for a style similar to Sizzla or Anthony B.-much Better.
On "Love God So Much," he awakes the digital dancehall heat once again and finds a few more words to rhyme with "Goddy Goddy." This song has some tight pentameter and ris rapidfire tongue is shooting lyrics out like a machinegun--Tight! Another side of Goddy is revealed on an original take of "Awesome God." In fact, Goddy's timid singjay style on this track shows some crazy potential. He should really work towards developing this sound. It's a winner.
Now that he's had a chance to regain his breath, Goddy unleashes more of his piranha DJ style on "Exercise Yu Faith." Get ready to skank and blow out your speakers to some righteous lyrics. My least favorite song on this album is "Gospel Rock." Just imagine a Jamaican Muppet singing about Jesus to the "Rock Around the Clock" melody in thick patois over casio beats. Actually, the more I think about it, this song could work for a childrens puppet show at a Jamaican Vacation Bible School!
By far the best title on this release is "Rally Back." Take a listen to the RealAudio Clip of this one and you will realize why he is such a popular artist in Jamaica's Gospel reggae scene. The album concludes with the tongue twisting "Goddy Goddy Remix." Man, I am out of breathe after just listening to it!
Goddy Goddy, by Mr. Goddy Goddy is a commendable freshman release by this talented dancehall reggae rookie. His potential alone makes it evident that this man of God is here to stay.
Despite a few off key vocal lines and lackluster musical production, Goddy shines on this effort. The next goal should be to translate his stage charisma into his future studio efforts. Perhaps a live album would be a good move. But do be not dismayed, Goddy is in good hands now under the tutelage of esteemed producer Danny Brownie. If his most recent recordings featured on Yow 2 are any indication, the future is bright for this unique artist.
On Goddy Goddy, one gets a heavy dose of raw dancehall culture with no frills. This unadorned sound that permeates the atmosphere every time Mr. Goddy Goddy grabs the microphone is sure to stir up any corwd. Packed full of Scripture and clever lyrics, Goddy Goddy is food for the soul and the ears. Have a taste today!