Gappy Ranks’ third album Shining Hope is his most pop-oriented yet with lots of catchy choruses, strong melodies, la-la-la’s and auto-tune. It hosts a broad variety of producers from Jamaica, Europe and the U.S., including Macro Marco, Bost & Bim, Kemar McGregor, Royal Order Music and Notice Productions.
Shining Hope doesn’t contain any vintage reggae and rocksteady gems like his debut album Put the Stereo On, nor does it collect any hard-edge dancehall like his second album Thanks & Praise. Shining Hope is rather a contemporary pop album heavily influenced by sweet reggae music.
And just as the album title and the cover sleeve – a photo of his son Japan – suggests, this is a bright, uplifting and personal album. Gappy Ranks sings about seizing the moment, overcoming tough boundaries, relationships and being in love with an ex-girlfriend. It’s bursting with joy and it’s hard to stop smiling when you listen to tracks such as Tomorrow Loves You, Sell Out and the Exco Levi combination Everything Gonna Be Alright, which borrows quite a lot from Bob Marley’s popular Three Little Birds.
With this more pop-oriented approach Gappy Ranks is ready to share his beloved home town of Harlesden, London, to the rest of the world
If Gappy Ranks’ Peckings-produced debut album Put the Stereo On from last year was a tribute to Studio One and the heydays of reggae music, his latest album – Thanks & Praise – is a completely different story.
Thanks & Praise is contemporary reggae and dancehall produced by eight different producers. It is more in the same vein as the EP Rising Out of the Ghetto released in 2010.
The only tune that sounds like the debut album is One Day at a Time. It is sung over a version of the Small Axe riddim, originally produced by Lee Perry for Bob Marley in the early 70’s.
Put the Stereo On is a great album and was a very promising debut album. It had its problems though, especially the use of auto-tune.
And this is repeated on Thanks & Praise. Auto-tune is present on almost every tune. Sometimes it is used with good effect, but mostly it is just disturbing and irritating.
Despite auto-tune, there is some great music on this radio friendly urban album. The title track, Could a Run Away with Delly Ranx and Tun Up featuring Russian are certainly extremely catchy.
While Put the Stereo On rendered interest among vintage reggae fans, Thanks & Praise will probably appeal to a new crowd. You should definitely check this album out, but listen before you buy.
Earlier this year UK-based singjay Gappy Ranks dropped his debut EP Rising Out of the Ghetto as well as his debut album Put the Stereo On. Two very different efforts. While the former had a contemporary dancehall approach, the latter relied on vintage riddims from Studio One, Treasure Isle and Bunny Lee.
Now Gappy Ranks has scheduled a new album release. In February Hot Coffee Music will put out Thanks & Praise, an album that is said to be modern and uptempo, probably in the same vein as Rising Out of the Ghetto. It’s produced by Notice Productions, Special Delivery Music, Macro Beats, Jazzwad, Bass Runner, Clay Records and Gappy Ranks himself. Included are singles such as Stinkin’ Rich, Thanks & Praise, Longtime and English Money.
Thanks & Praise is scheduled for release on February 15th.