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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean


By Tom Pryor
Published November 1, 2005

The Trinity
VP Records

You’d think it might be hard for Sean Paul to top his multi-platinum 2002 set, Dutty Rock. But where his breakthrough record took a few months of simmering on the charts to really catch fire, the release of The Trinity in October entered the Billboard Top 200 at number seven – not only entering as the highest-charting reggae album ever, but knocking Bob Marley’s own son, Damian, out of the box (Damian had debuted just the week before with the highest-charting reggae album, but his reign was rather short-lived). By now, The Trinity is ubiquitous, with tracks like “We Be Burnin,’” “Ever Blazin’,” “Yardie Bone” and “Temperature” scorching dancefloors, radios and iPods everywhere, and Paul’s “Applause” riddim is the inspiration for a thousand knockoffs. And while Sean Paul knows full well that sexy, growly come-ons are still his bread and butter, he’s also capable of surprising depth and introspection. The sobering “Never Gonna Be The Same” is a tribute to his friend Daddigon, gunned down in Kingston earlier this year, and Dutty isn’t afraid to take an honest look at the rising violence and gunplay in Jamaica. But never fear, the album never strays too far from Paul’s usual recipe for success: “5 million and forty top cuties / Dem be shakin’ up dem booties / Dat is how di dutty sell di units.”