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Busy Signal - Parts of the Puzzle


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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When it comes to reggae/dancehall artist Busy Signal, you can certainly emphasize the "busy." The Jamaican star, whose real name is Reanno Gordon, has famously worked with American EDM group Major Lazer, brought his live show to African fans in Gambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda, brought Afrobeat back from the continent and incorporated it into his sound, and made a concentrated effort to break big in the American market. If his new album, knowingly entitled Parts of the Puzzle, is any indication, Busy is going to remain on an upward trajectory for quite some time. A generous effort holding 17 tracks and nearly an hour of music, Puzzle demonstrates the depth of Busy's talent with the sensuous R&B/dancehall mash-up of "Real Born Gallis," the outrageously fun and trippy "Balloon," and the positive, personal glimpse into the future that is "Everywhere We Go." Busy sounds good on old school reggae cut "Girl like You" where he embellishes his declaration of love with light orchestration, an effect that heightens the song's sincerity. Busy trades verses with Josey Wales on "Bring Back the Vibes" and also grants guest spots to Afro B on "100%" and Bounty Killer on "Nuh Weh Nuh," a cut that namechecks Tina Turner that's also laden with lots of funky and psychedelic effects. The album ends with the delightful island pop of "Smiling Face," and quite appropriately since listeners will be grinning from ear to ear over Parts of the Puzzle.

Busy Signal - Parts of the Puzzle
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