Volume 96, Issue 56
Thursday, January 9, 2003

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CD REVIEW: Elephant Man
Energy God slows down

Elephant Man
Higher Level
Greensleeves



Rundown: After successfully invading the dancehall, the self-proclaimed "Energy God" is back with his highly anticipated follow-up to his last critically acclaimed album Log On. No artist has enjoyed more dancehall success over the last year than Elephant Man. His unique lispy voice and ability to create catchy tracks that mix different elements has pushed him to the front of the line, making him the man to watch – or catch, if you can.

Key Tracks: The track "Tall Up Tall Up" has proven to be a huge hit, combining elements of opera with straight-up dancehall vibes. Instead of dropping tracks with people like Spragga Benz or Ward 21, Elephant hooks up with Jarvis Church to offer the song "Run For Your Life." The song is your typical soft voice/hard voice combination and doesn't stray too far from the norm. Other hits include the opening track featuring Jagwa "Party Like This," "Bumper" and "Bad Man A Bad Man."

Sounds Like: On his last release, Elephant Man began adding more North American elements to his music, and unfortunately this trend continues to the extreme on this album. The phrase "for shnizzle my nizzle" is said so much it simply becomes annoying. Also, at times, he seems to stray from the dancehall and borders on hip-hop. Higher Level is definitely a defining album and it should be interesting to see who, if anyone, follows its lead. The lack of big guest appearances, a typical feature of reggae, and the over-use of silly phrases dampen the listening ability of the album. However, the beats are still hard and sure to make you dance.

–Dale Wyatt

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2002 THE GAZETTE