|Recording information: Big Yard Studio, Kingston, Jamaica; Circle House Recording Studios, Miami, FL; Downtown Studios, New York, NY; Lotzah Matzah Studios, New York, NY; Maratone Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; Parkland Playhouse, Parkland, FL; Roc The Mic Studios, New York, NY.
|During the 2011-2012 seasons, the wonderfully fickle dancehall fan base had revived Shaggy as their superstar of choice, leaving less room for the swaggering Sean Paul. Maybe that's why the slick Tomahawk Technique feels like a play for the world with its Black Eyed Peas and Flo Rida-styled club tracks, the best of which has to be the slow-stepping "Got 2 Luv U," where Paul and Alexis Jordan shout sweet nothings over a Nicki Minaj-sized Stargate production. "How Deep Is Your Love" isn't the Bee Gees cut but a fine midtempo bedroom song with Kelly Rowland sounding quite tropical ("deep as de ocean floor") but when things slow to ballad level, all the gloss becomes fluff. "She Doesn't Mind" is more Wayne Wonder territory with Paul just somewhat committed to the song, but "Hold On" fights hard to deliver its message of uplift over the polish, suggesting it would be much better served by an acoustic guitar than its American Idol-big backing track. Things pick up when the album comes to a close as "Roll Wid di Don" punches out of the speakers with pure dancehall power and then the DJ Ammo feature "Touch the Sky" goes the full Pitbull with Paul rocking over electro, spitting out catch phrases and come-ons as the dancefloor fills. When Future Fambo joins for the shortie-chasin' closer, "Wedding Crashers," the album has its great novelty number like The Odyssey Mixtape had "Porno Tape," but a couple more true dancehall tracks would have made this feel more natural. Straying far from home, Tomahawk Technique isn't an awful Sean Paul album, but it is an odd one. ~ David Jeffries