September 1, 2010
Positive effort from Chino
Chino's 'Never Change' album - Contributed
Album: Never Change (From Mawning)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
For much of his 18-track sophomore album, 'Never Change (From Mawning)', Chino McGregor defines himself as a new talent who steers far from negativity, has an undying love for the ladies, his family and music and, at day's end, will always remain true to whatever he believes in.
Named after his 2009 smash hit, the album was released in Japan in the latter part of the summer and features positive meditative songs, songs for the ladies, as well as a Japanese version of the title track. The difference with Chino is obviously his positive message and his focus on life lessons' as well as the ladies - thus separating him from the rest of dancehall's new crop of talent. Positive tracks include the opening track Who God Bless, Never Change (From Mawning), Bad Mind among others.
Never one to leave out the ladies, Chino charismatically charms the ladies in songs such as Ruff it up, Bring it Come, Me and You (a duet featuring reggae singer Alaine) and Phone Gyalist. He doesn't just sing about satisfying women and fulfilling her needs. In Please Forgive Me, he speaks about a relationship that has gone sour and explains he loves being a bachelor too much and says sorry before they part ways.
On the final track, the Japanese version of the title track, he surprises with his grasp of the Japanese language and delivery (I should know, I studied the language for a year). In terms of production, Never Change explores a wide range of beats - from up tempo beats to mid tempo and the old-school feel, yet modern synthetics. His brother Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor, (featured on three of the album's five collaborations) should be commended for sticking to his dancehall beats yet, gives them an international flair.
Overall, the album is a good listen. It showcases the vocal and lyrical diversity of one of dancehall's newest and brightest stars.
1) Who God bless
2) Never Change (From mawning)
3) Haffi get the cream
4) Call we name
5) Protected (feat. Stephen 'Di Genuis' McGregor)
6) Ruff it Up
7) Bring it come
8) Me & you feat. Alaine
9) Pon your head
10) Bad Mind
11) In d Streets
12) We nuh like dem (feat. Stephen 'Di Genuis' McGregor)
13) Waah fi keep you
14) Clap it & Drop it (feat. Stephen 'Di Genuis' McGregor)
15) Please forgive me
16) Phone Gyalist
17) Find it hard (feat Dean Fraser)
18) Never Change (From Mawning) Japanese version
- Sean A. Bennett