Game Changer: Album Review by SoulSista
Title: Game Changer
Produced by: Botanist and FACE
Genre: Reggae Dancehall
Label: Maximum Stylez Publishing and Records
Release: 10 January 2019
The title of Botanists debut album, GAME CHANGER, is bodacious enough, the contents don’t quite match up to it, but what this album does exceptionally well is to showcase Botanist prowess as a songwriter and a lyrical master. Since its release, the song, “Who A dem” came out as the fan’s favourite as he asks “A Who a Dem seh dat Botanist have no flow / a Who a Dem seh dat Sniper can’t run him show,” giving a nod to his lyrical clash delivery style that he is also known and respected for.
The album was produced by Botanist himself and co-produced by one called FACE who also was the engineer on the project. It boasts 11 tracks that displays his usual hard-core delivery style and shows off his ability to alternate between hard and soft without missing a beat. This is evident on the ‘sing along songs’ “Sweet Reggae Music” which was inspired by Kabaka Pyramid’s “Reggae Music” and “Roots“. He delivers classic melodic notes and a bit of ‘Grunge’ that leaves one skanking and asking for more.
Another track that stands out is “Ghetto Huddle”, a social commentary song that echoes a message that will resonate with a lot of masses “when poverty arise / Drug and substance abuse arise”; the song highlights the seemingly futile plans of the “government and the system” to eradicate unemployment and poverty which then leads to the social ills that are currently plaguing the country.
Being conscious of the fact that an artist will want to offer a well balanced Album for a diverse fan base, Game Changer, which opens up with Reggae roots songs and then proceeds on to party tracks like ‘Whine Smooth,” “Number One,” “ Umzimba Wakho” make the album feel like it’s at war with itself. Botanist had this to say in that regard: “It is difficult to categorise this album because it caters for a wide and mixed audience because it has a bit of everything for everyone. It transcends the genre boundaries and as a result cannot be boxed”. Is all good and well, but he must challenge himself even further by producing a Reggae Album, because that is no easy feat.
In 2017 Botanist released his debut EP The Highway that was recorded, mixed and mastered at Maximum Stylez Studios and featured experienced artists like Jah Kongo, Daddy Spencer and Skeleton Blazer adding the anchor needed to ground the EP. One can tell that he has grown lyrically and is bold enough to put out a self-produced album, this time with no featured artists because he believes that: “I have more to offer to the world and the world needs to know Botanist in full and his musical journey”. It shows maturity of one who studies and understands the game and knows what to do in order to stay relevant. The EP has since been taken offline by Maximum Stylez Records; it would have provided a good measure to compare how far he has come.
The downside of the Album is that it has too many effects on the tracks, which makes some songs lose their flair and impact. At times it feels like one is listening to two tracks overlapping. As a signed artist to Maximum Stylez Records, one would expect that he could have had the opportunity to use backing vocalists and decent post production, two things that would have greatly enhanced this entire project.
Favourite Tracks: A who Dem, Roots, Jah Guide.
The Album is available on all digital stores.
Sweet Reggae Music
Who ah Dem
Cut Me Out
To book a hard copy of the Album you can contact Maximum Stylez Publishing and Records