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Follow-up to the 2003 smash `No Holding Back', `Foreva' features the single `Again', Recent hits `Luv & Affection', `I Still Believe' & `Gonna Love You'. A household name with reggae fans, Wayne Wonder earned his first #1 mainstream hit with `No Letting Go' the crossover hit that catapulted his career. Credits Include; 2003 A Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album, #11 debut on the Billboard's Top 200 albums chart & massive airplay on Urban & Pop radio Sales of over 300,000 units of the album `No Holding Back' Performances on Saturday Night Live, Live from the Apollo and others. Wayne returns with a new studio album written and co-produced with some of reggae's top names.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 5.75 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Manufacturer : VP Records
- Original Release Date : 2007
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Date First Available : June 27, 2007
- Label : VP Records
- ASIN : B000RGUHH8
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #578,848 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
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Wayne Wonder's big break and bust into the international market came in the form of a tune over a riddim which seemed to have (and still probably does have) a midas touch all over the world. The Diwali riddim, created by longtime engineer/producer/keyboardist Stephen `Lenky' Marsden had a hand in both Sean Paul's and Wayne Wonder's explosions. Sean Paul's take on the wild piece came in the form of Get Busy which would go on to be an international hit #1 tune which you could probably play at a dance anywhere in the world and crowd the dance floors (with the possible of exception of Jamaica, a lot of the people here just don't play the song) and would even give his own previous tune, Gimmi Di Light a run for which was ultimately more popular. While it is undisputable that Sean Paul's tune was the single most popular piece the riddim birthed (it also gave us Puerto Rican artist, Lumidee's first hit), in my opinion at least, it is equally clear that the ultra sleek and downright gorgeous effort which Wonder used for the vibe was the best tune of the ridiculously packed riddim. No Letting Go immediately became Wonder's international calling card replacing his two biggest hits to date previously, The Saddest Day (which is probably sill his best regarded offering in his career overall locally) and Joyride. While he certainly didn't receive the level of fame and recognition internationally that Sean Paul has attained over the years, the entire hardcore dancehall listening world cheered for Wonder and continue to do so. He has also not simply rested on his new found lofty status.. In the roughly four years it has been since No Letting Go, Wayne Wonder has been on tour more than anyone in the game not name Beenie Man and he hasn't been exactly out of place in a recording studio either. He has also become a father for the second time in sixteen years and in ushering his new child, Wayne Wonder also ushers in the long awaited follow-up to 2003's smash No Holding Back. That album which was the album which housed his hit No Letting Go, was a very solid piece which went on to sale more than 300,0000 copies worldwide for the singer, making it one of the biggest dancehall albums of all-time and was actually released on a major label, in Atlantic Records. Fast forward four years later and as expected, the major deal is gone, but I doubt anyone who has stuck with the artist over the past few years is caring at all as his latest piece, Foreva, comes to us via the largest reggae label in the world, VP Records. This album has mighty big shoes to fill and although it doesn't possess a tune of the sheer girth as No Letting Go, few albums do, even before listening to it, I'm very satisfied on how VP has marketed the project as the truly big deal. While before No Letting Go, Wonder had released his two most immediately preceding pieces on relatively unknown (and now defunct) Artists Only (who actually had a fine working outfit for quite awhile, releasing pieces for the likes of Bounty Killer, Morgan Heritage, Sizzla Kalonji and perhaps now most notably, Baby Cham's 2000 debut Wow. . . The Story), VP has spared no expense in treating Wonder as it does the majority of its truly top flight artists and presented a truly well done and presented project for the singer which will rival anything sitting next to it on the CD racks and shelves.
For his part, Wayne Wonder, as expected has definitely delivered the goods in Foreva. What it lacks the overall power and spectacular nature of the No Holding Back album (which also featured other proven hits such as Glad You Came My Way and Bounce Along in the primary support for No Letting Go) Foreva makes up for in complete consistency, there isn't a horrible track in the bunch and although he does take a few twists and turns, Foreva is a VERY easy listen and doesn't deviate away from Wonder's proven winning formula and vibes. The first track on Foreva, following the obligatory Intro (which is actually better than the intro on No Holding Back. . . If you care)(and you shouldn't) is his current hit and the album's first official single, Again. Again is yet another masterpiece cut of the Ghetto Blues riddim by producer extraordinaire Birch. Previously, the riddim was best known as the backing track for Chuck Fenda and Cherrine Anderson's hit Coming Over Tonight and due to his vibes on Again (his style is virtually built for a riddim like the Ghetto Blues), I'll make the argument that Wonder has the best tune on the terribly under-voiced riddim. Again is definitely one of the album's biggest pieces and I suspect it will be the choice for a great deal of people as the finest effort here, but it doesn't quite reach the level of one other here (which I'll tell you about in a minute). Of all the things that will stick out on Foreva, undoubtedly sticking out the furthest is For My Love which features American hip hop artist, Trina. I was surprised as I usually don't like such combinations, but Wonder's style isn't too much unlike an American R&B singers and both artists have probably had a great deal of experience in making such a song, so the song does work, hopefully it will receive (and perhaps already is receiving) decent spins on American radio stations. But its not my favorite song on Foreva. That honor is reserved for a song I should probably be tired of hearing by now as its done over a riddim which is now headed towards three years old. I Still Believe is Wayne Wonder's cut of super producer Vendetta's super riddim, the beautiful Seasons. That riddim (much like the Diwali) birthed so many strong pieces that I Still Believe isn't even the best on the riddim, but it is still MASSIVE. Of course I'm partial, it has just been one of my favorite songs over the past two years or so, but you definitely have to hear the track and I was thoroughly impressed that VP chose to include the track on the album. Other tracks which were very familiar going in include the previous hit Love & Affection over the Vendetta built, Purple Skunk produced Istanbul riddim, yet another packed riddim which Wonder's effort belongs at the head of the pack of.
Much of the Foreva album could have definitely fit right at home in the vibes of No Holding Back, still, however, there are very nice track which eschew the norm and show Wonder's true range of vibes. The first appearance of such a track on Foreva, is Share My Love. Share My love is just a nice changeup which doesn't quite change at all. Its presented as a dancehall track with the constant baseline, but you listen to it, its actually a more rootical track and as usual, Wonder rides it with a lover's vibes and the song just works! Definitely one of the album's biggest tracks altogether. Another such track is Take it Easy, another master class of a track. Take it Easy employs the very solid All Star riddim and is a standout. Although definitely one of dancehall's most decorated singers, Wayne Wonder hardly ever sings full blown ballads and Take It Easy is a ballad but with a twist and the All Star is just gorgeous, yet another fine pick for VP on this one. However, as I mentioned, this one fits rather nicely with the No Holding Back album which was built largely on a vibes of dance tracks with some very smooth but strong dancehall mixed in. Check Hotter Than Fire (the opening of which sees the singer going into his PRINCE impression). Hotter Than Fire is just a very fun track built on SnoCone's crazy hype and aptly titled Cheerful riddim. And if that one doesn't get your head bobbing at the very least, then you probably don't have a head. Immediately following Hotter Than fire is the obligatory cool down track Exposed which features Wayne Wonder`s artist Showki-Ru. Exposed is the track which has received the most spins on my player so far, its just a cool track, you want the relaxing back type of vibes, of course check Wayne Wonder and definitely check Exposed. Another mad hype up track is the addictive God Bless You Baby which is just infectious and is sure to get you moving a bit. Foreva winds down at the end and sneaks in one of the strongest tracks on the album L.O.V.E. The song is Wonder's cut of the very impressive Dr. Bird riddim from Black Chiney which sounds like something hot off the presses from Vendetta's studio (and I'm still not 100% convinced that he didn't have something to do with the vibe). Definitely a big track with a very big vibes. The absolute last tune on Foreva, Take It Off, which features longtime Sean Paul spar Mr. Chicken is one of the very few missteps here and actually comes off (and IS) as a stripper's anthem, which is okay, the song just isn't top notch.
And YES, I know what you're wondering. Wayne Wonder's alter-ego DJ Surprize, does make an appearance on the track Apart (definitely check out that riddim). I can't sit here and tell you that Surprize doesn't have skills, `he' definitely does.
Overall, as I mentioned, I don't expect this one to reach the stratosphere set by No Holding Back and that's understandable and kind of not so good at the same time. UNDOUBTEDLY, most of the people who enjoyed that album will enjoy Foreva, perhaps even more so. However, Foreva needs to make itself aware to the masses who tuned in and caught the addiction to No Holding Back. If somehow, someway this one (or any subsequent Wayne Wonder album for that matter) manages to just make the masses aware of its presence and being out there, we might be able to witness lightening strike twice. Wayne Wonder has long established himself as a household name in the dancehalls and watching him break free for awhile was very nice for the artist and his fans. Foreva marks his return but he didn't completely abandon what he learned at the top, if you at all enjoyed No Holding Back, go and run and pick up Foreva. You reggae heads out there, I don't even need to tell you, its Wayne Wonder, real bigman singer, check it out.