Album Reviews

Kevin Lyttle – Kevin Lyttle

(atlantic) UK release date: 24 May 2004

Here comes Big Kev and his soca-infused hip-hop, Jamaican dance-hall and R ‘n’ B. Did you know that his first single (and big international hit) Turn Me On has eight writing credits? Closer inspection reveals that Kevin and a pal actually wrote the song based on All My Love, which was written by six others. Still, I can just imagine a conference table filled with angry musos (“that E Flat should be an E”, “no way, definitely C Sharp”, “Dammit, y’all never listen to me, I’m outta here”).

Anyhow, Turn Me On, the first track on this album, was a huge underground success and had been touring international clubs for the best part of two years before it received an official release. And it’s a damn funky song too.

Lyttle by little, Kevin introduces different ethnic and cultural influences, resulting in a hybrid of Carribean Soca music, Western hip-hop and R ‘n’ B, and Jamaican dancehall. Forthcoming single Last Drop features a marvellous rap spot from Spragga Benz – it will function ideally as a great bit of summer fluff.

Third track Never Wanna Make U Cry would make English teachers tear their hair out, and pushes his Caribbean roots to the fore. It makes a nice change from most chart stuff, but the use of a synthetic sounding pop beat detracts from the effect.

I Got It features a scary syllabic reminiscence of an Aqua song (remember “Oh Oh I’m a barbie pork chop”) and is fun if musically unremarkable. We got it with Sign Your Name which is slower in pace and possibly the most suitable track for a single release. It also features nice orchestral sounds.

Assassin features in next track Screaming Out My Name, while in My Lady Kev offers to give his fans “the real hardcore” if you become his lady. To be fair to his lyrics, next song Ya Kiss features a corker of a line in, “You got a kiss so wet I wanna drink from it,” and the whole song has a mature character lacking from the superficial fun of the rest of the album.

Whatever anyone says, Kevin Lyttle’s Caribbean fusions bring a sense of sun, beach and sea that contrasts nicely with our sombre musical tastes since Gary Jules got that Number One at Christmas. Kevin’s here to have some fun, and you’ll find it hard to resist.

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Kevin Lyttle – Kevin Lyttle