For reasons unknown, permanently aroused sub-baritone Shaggy (born Orville Richard Burrell) has had two platinum albums, five number one hits and 11 Top Ten singles on the strength of his hyper-sexed burblings.
Like Electric Six – whose five-word vocabulary consisted of “fire”, “disco”, “nuclear”, “war” and “dancefloor” – Shaggy has a very limited repertoire. Hot tubs feature heavily in his work, as do the things you call girls when you want to get them into bed. His greatest hits package, The Boombastic Collection, is one long lewd suggestion.
Boombastic, the opener from which the collection takes its name, sets the tone. It struts, it swaggers, and if it were human it would take you somewhere cheap for dinner before trying to stick a hand up your skirt in the queue for the bus home. The next track, 2001 mega-hit Angel, is a little less explicit, but its hooks sound like they came straight off a Casio keyboard demo. Dancehall this certainly ain’t. More like cruise ship lounge.
If someone kicked your feet from under you and trod on your face you might grudgingly concede that Oh Carolina is catchy, grinding-against-the-wall stuff. But it’s all downhill from there. Novelty tunes – It Wasn’t Me, like giving someone a mega-wedgie as they prepare to leap off a high diving board, is meant to be funny, but isn’t – are squashed up against bargain-bin paeans to the fairer sex and badly spelled bits of filler. Ready Fi Di Ride, anyone? Or perhaps you’re feeling Wild 2 Nite?
In The Summertime is another stinker. The steel drums and maracas are meant to sound totally tropical, but like Lilt Zero, they give you only a tinny and inauthentic taste of the Caribbean. Shaggy might just as well have gone round to whichever retirement home Mungo Jerry are currently residing in and chinned them.
The Boombastic Collection’s lowest moment comes when Shaggy, not content with grossing his listeners out for three and a half stomach-turning minutes on Luv Me, Luv Me, moans “Uh, moist” for no apparent reason as the song draws to a close. He sounds like Jar Jar Binks on Viagra.
Listening to The Boombastic Collection brings to mind 100% polyester sheets and massage oil that’s meant to turn you on but actually just brings you up in a nasty rash. It’s 18 tracks long, and that’s at least 17 too many.