Busy Signal is one of the biggest dancehall stars of today with several big tunes in recent years. He began to receive attention in 2005 with breakthrough hits like Born and Grow and Step Out. Two years ago he dropped the acclaimed album Loaded, including hits such as Jail, These Are the Days and Unknown Number.
His first two albums were more or less straight up dancehall efforts. Busy Signal’s new album D.O.B (Difference of Busy Signal) takes him in a somewhat new direction. D.O.B is softer and more melodic compared to its predecessors and includes smooth tunes such as covers Sweet Love/Night Shift by the Commodores and One More Night by Phil Collins. Let Peace Reign is a straight ballad where Busy Signal’s vocal is accompanied only by an acoustic guitar.
Busy Signal is certainly not afraid to venture into musical territories that others might stay away from. Picante and Busy Latino offer a Spanish feel and the latter is a blend with Puerto Rican singer Elvis Crespo’s huge 90’s hit Suavemente.
Perhaps Busy Signal should’ve avoided territories such as Latino and ballads too, and put more focus on dancehall. Those cuts are by far the best.
Busy Signal’s distinct and robust baritone voice is at its best on the funky Hi Grade, on a great relick of Winston Riley’s classic Stalag rhythm, or on up-tempo tracks such as How U Bad So and Summin’ A Guh Gwaan, a duet with dancehall icon and mentor Bounty Killer.
Whether you’re a fan of Busy Signal’s new direction or not, it’s easy to be impressed by his tunefulness, versatility and musical skills. This might not be an album for everyone, but you’ve to give him props for trying new things and not limit himself.