Before achieving major success in 2001 with his album Hot Shot and its chart-topping singles "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel," Shaggy had managed to rack up an impressive number of hit singles, most notably in the U.K. where "Oh Carolina" and "Boombastic" became number one hits and "In the Summertime" and "Piece of My Heart" went Top Ten. Shaggy's major releases from 1992 to the end of the decade are collected here, some in alternate takes and radio edits. One glaring mistake is that the single "Luv Me Luv Me," from the soundtrack to How Stella Got Her Groove Back, featured Janet Jackson, and the song listing explicitly states "featuring Janet Jackson," but, alas, the version here does not feature the enigmatic singer. Beyond that blunder, the rest of the album is a delight, with each song completely different from the others, revealing Shaggy's undeniable versatility as an artist. From the finger-snappin' swing jazz of "Nice And Lovely" to the metallic guitar riffs on "Sexy Body Girl," each song is a well-crafted and catchy slice of reggae/soul/pop whose pleasing qualities are hard to resist. Also accounted for is "That Girl," his hit duet with Maxi Priest, as well as their cover of Bob Marley's "Get Up Stand Up," for which Maxi Priest is uncredited. This collection is definitely up to par, and a great starting point for those who only got to know Shaggy after the success of Hot Shot. ~ Jose F. Promis
Pop crossover dancehall artist Shaggy (born Orville Richard Burrell in Jamaica) scored a huge hit with 1993's "Oh Carolina," a cover of the 1960s recording by the Folkes Brothers. After becoming a pop sensation in Britain, Shaggy hit the top of the U.S. charts with 1995's "Boombastic." His danceable combination of dancehall reggae and pop (minus the sexually explicit lyrics common to much dancehall music) made him mainstream material.
Q (3/02, p.138) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...There's very little to fault in his ragga-influenced pop. The beats are always crisp and the delivery is reliable..."