Review : Wyclef Jean - Carnival II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant
RapreviewsWyclef Jean definitely caught the public off guard with the release of "Carnival Vol. II." It's been ten years now since the release of "The Carnival," an album upon which opinion has always been widely divided. Opinion was not divided when it came to The Fugees, where Lauryn Hill was always considered to be the breakout star, while Pras was considered to be lyrical weak link. Wyclef fell somewhere between the two - a charismatic and engaging personality who at times seemed to have trouble finding or staying on beat with his flow. While former RR reviewers like Dan Mannella felt that 'Clef may have overcompensated musically for his shortcomings lyrically on his first solo album, even Mr. Mannella acknowledged that "The Carnival" remains the most popular album in Wyclef's extensive catalogue. ...full text
AllmusicTen years after his 1997 solo debut, The Carnival, former Fugee, "Hips Don't Lie" producer, and globetrotting activist Wyclef Jean presents the sequel, subtitled Memoirs of an Immigrant and meaning it. There's a star-studded guest list, but Carnival, Vol. 2 is composed from Wyclef's personal experience and filled with his commentary on 2007's immigration crisis. He even works his own green-card story into "Selena," a lighthearted love letter to the Mexican American diva that shamelessly quotes her "Bidi Bidi Bum Bum" over a light reggae beat before it morphs into a screaming loud carnival number....full text
BillboardWyclef Jean has spent the 10 years since the original "Carnival" in projects of scattered ambition and success, some that hit ("Hips Don't Lie") and some that didn't (anyone remember his reworking of "The Gambler" with Kenny Rogers?). But hip-hop loves its Roman numerals, and it was probably only a matter of time before he revisited the concept. "The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant" isn't nearly as fresh as its older cousin, mostly because it only seems partly interested in its timely concept, but it's a stronger-than-usual collection that succeeds more when Clef sits back ("Heaven's in New York" and the Norah Jones-assisted "Any Other Day") than when he works hard at showing off his sprawling pedigree (the needlessly overdone "Hollywood Meets Bollywood" and the too long "Touch Your Button Carnival Jam")....full text
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