Release Date: Mar 96
Chart Position: 21
With England out of the World Cup and the weekly neg train rolling again life is pretty sweet! Given how Football is currently dominating our lives I was going to deliver this review in some kind of style that would pay homage to it, but i’m struggling to be that creative. Although the thought of watching Adrian Chiles and the ITV panel discuss a neg entry has made me smile a little bit. I think that they would over contextualise it a little whereas the BBC I think would be a little bit more direct with their feedback. I can vision both Alan’s shaking their heads ‘rubbish, utter rubbish! what the hell is he gibbering about? ‘Hansen would proclaim. Rio unsure on what his opinion should be and offering the type of value add you would expect of a four year old ‘I fought it was a good song wiv good singing in it’, nice one Rio, Cheers mate! Anyway, I’ll keep this one simple, just as I ease back into things and get stuck into the home straight. A slightly better entry from Shaggy since his last outing, it’s a nice track with a beautiful chorus. The harmonic delivery from Wayne is the real standout of the show, but mix that up with Shaggy going Shaggy style and you’ve got a real winner. As with a couple of tunes we have reviewed this would have been great soundtrack to a film, when I listened to to that was one of the first thought that entered my head. But I don’t think that it was, not that I could find in my very minor research on line. Even the video looks as if it was straight out of a cheap Boomerang alternative film, maybe starring a Queen Latifah instead of Halle Berry? Anyway – all good with this one from me – 8/10 from me.
This is an exciting combination. Shaggy needs no introduction, and can we have a big round of applause, preferably in the Diwali riddim, for Mr Wayne Wonder. I know Wayne from his second-wave-of-neggae smash No Letting Go and subsequent excellent Wyclef collaboration but I had no idea he was also a first-wave original. The ingredients are promising so let’s take a bite of the pie.
Something Different turns out to be very much at the RnB end of the spectrum – no one-drops or guitar chops here. It’s all in the neggae spirit to embrace any song with the merest reggae influence so I’m not going to mark it down for that, but then again it does sound like the kind of thing Shabba Ranks would rap over, or try to.In fact if you imagine Shabba slogging and wheezing through Shaggy’s bits, that tells you all you need to know about the difference between them – there’s more charm and personality in Shaggy’s “Mmm!” in the intro than in most whole Shabba songs. I don’t know how many other people used to read Laura Barton’s Hail Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll column when it used to be in the Guardian. I gave up around the time she started musing on what her favourite syllable in all of recorded music was, but I’d now like to rescind my derision – for the concept, if not her woeful non-neggae nominations – and crown that “Mmm!” as the clear winner. From there Shaggy’s flow continues as stylishly as ever, keeping the rhythm tight and bouncing between different melodies while keeping the signature Shaggy twinkle.
Wayne’s vocals are sweet enough to play the Pliers role, complementing the star of the show nicely. I like the way he switches up the order of his chorus and bridge sections although I do find the lyrics a bit contradictory – is doing something different supposed to be good or bad, or only OK? Does it matter what the different thing that you do is? I don’t know if this is the best relationship advice to be honest – being spontaneous is all very well but it can equally end with chocolate mousse on your valance if you’re not careful. But credit to Wayne, these doubts only crept in when I started to overanalyse and on a relaxed listen he makes me think of picnics and other innocent joys rather than Alan Partridge’s sordid seduction scenarios.
I really like the Shaggy/Wonder combination. The song still goes on a bit but between them they make it more than it really should be, without hitting the heights of Wayne’s later work.
Score: 7 out of 10
Wayne Wonder. The Abedi Pele of Music. Commandeering the name of your hero when you’ve got a tenth of their talent is bold I’ll give them that. Unless they’re related somehow? A journalist once asked Stevie if he thought Wayne looked like him. Stevie wasn’t sure.
Anyway… A quick view at www.wayne-wonder.com tells us that Wayne was UK balloon modeller of 2013, and is now kind of a big deal in children’s parties across the Home Counties. Hold on a minute, that’s Wayne Murphy – Children’s entertainer. He He’s half-inched our Wayne’s domain name! This man has nothing to do with Neggae so please don’t make the same mistake I did and book him for a bashment rave at the St Paul’s Carnival. Never again.
A quick view on Wikipedia shows that Wayne Wonder joins the Neggae party late but acquits himself well I think. A reggae wunderkid, Wayne (real name Von Wayne Charles – why would you change THAT name? It’s superb! ) bubbled around the reggae scene in JA throughout the 80s and 90s never really getting the break his talent deserved. His vocal style was a cross between the traditional Jamaican crooner (Pliers) and the more stylised US r & b style typified by Bobby Brown and the like. This is exemplified in this song; It’s called ‘something different’ but musically it’s that New Jack – Neggae crossover we’ve heard before. It’s got a groove though, and I’m sure would have been rinsed in the upstairs MOBO room at Bojangles in Guildford in 96. I for one would have definitely got my swerve on to it; it’s disco stylings and heavy bottom end are decent.
Gun for hire Shaggy does what he does best and delivers inventive and melodic flow. The video is pretty hi-gloss as are most of Shaggy’s – he can never be accused of skimping on the promo budget. And my goodness, what a saucy viddy it is! The story opens around Shaggy living in a hotel waiting for a mature yet not unattractive black lady to visit. Is he a male prostitute? I think he is. The similarly hot maid smirks at the lady john as she enters the room. Like she knows something the client does not. Has Shaggy just given the maid a freebie? I think Shaggy has just given the maid a freebie. Now he’s canoodling with a secretary type – and rubbing ice cubes all over her fantastic booty. A girl who I shan’t name put an ice cube down my back at a school disco once, in a flirtatious manner. Result? One wet YSL shirt and a vaguely annoyed Vince. If I’m honest it’s put me off ice cubes as an erotic device ever since. Next scene, he’s Dogging on Brighton Pier – bold as brass. The fourth notch for him in less than three minutes is the maid. In the bathtub. With the massive dildo. Shaggy Cluedo. I think this holds the record for the most sexual encounters documented in a pop video. Feel free to prove me wrong folks. All the while Wayne Wonder doesn’t get a sniff. Just loitering in the background, singing and watching. Maybe that’s what he likes to do. Takes all sorts I guess. Score: Sex out of Ten. Sorry, six. Six out of Ten.
World Cup fever took over the Neggae Elders for a bit, hence the lack of recent activity, but now with the Reggae boys not qualifying (It’s not a proper World Cup unless Robbie ‘Irie’ Earle is playing imo) and Stevie Me reverting to type and setting up a couple of Suarez goals we can get back on with it. This week’s entry teams up Neggae legend Shaggy (who I mistakenly thought had died last week) with NWONWON (New Wave of New Wave of Neggae, pronounced N’WonWon) chart topper Wayne Wonder. I struggle a bit with a Neggaeist called Wayne as it always invokes images of the slightly pikey kid at school, the type who had an ear-ring and sovereign ring at the age of 5 and not a soulful crooner of the Caribbean. There are rumours he’s Stevie’s son born from the pulsing Island beat of the ‘Master Blaster (Jammin)’ recording sessions, however this can’t be confirmed as Stevie refuses to see him.
We start off with a Max Roach-a-like drum roll and expectations are high, then quickly tempered with the RnB lite production usually associated with Shabba Ranks and his cronies. The production meanders along in this mid paced vein like a James Milner run down the wing. Shaggy’s toasting is as good as ever and Wayne’s vocals hit the spot as well so it’s a shame about the limp production behind it as two such talents deserve better. Lyrically it’s about doing something different, you know like deciding to go camping for a weekend despite being the wrong side of 35 and being financially able to afford to stay in a permanent structure like a B and B or hotel. Jonny and I endured this only last week and I can tell you it was more like ‘Sophie’s Choice’ than ‘Carry on Camping’. The only good thing about the whole experience was knowing Jonny was in much more pain than me due to a combination of severe sunstroke and food poisoning, small mercies. Thanks for the advice Shaggy and Wayne but I won’t be taking it.
Upon closer inspection and with the aid of the video it seems when Shaggy is referring to doing ‘something’ different he means women. He’s clearly been wearing his Lynx Africa for this video because the treacles can’t get enough of him. Whilst Wayne nonces about in the background like a voyeuristic Dwayne Wayne it seems Shaggy can do no wrong with the ladies. First some hoighty toighty business woman arrives at his pad and indulges in a bit of Lady Chatterley type shenanigans with Shaggy as her Mellors figure. Then his meeting with his accountant turns a bit saucy as he invokes the ‘cinema special’ and slyly gets an arm round her whilst studying his tax returns, from this point all pretence of spreadsheets goes out the window as the ice cubes (not the rapper) come out to play. He then approaches a stranger from behind and grabs her and weirdly she doesn’t mind. When I attempted this I got three years on D-Wing, my food spat in every day, every time I left my cell I was subjected to chants of ‘sex case’ and I was placed on a register, funny how real life differs from music videos. Lastly it shows his maid trailing rose petals to the bath where she waits for Shaggy to discover her. It must have cut out the scene immediately afterwards where she’s sacked on the spot for making such a mess, as a maid one of the main responsibilities on her job description is to keep the place clean and tidy.
6/10 from me, 5 for the vocals and 1 for the strong waistcoat representation throughout the video.
NEGGAE SCORE: 6.75