Even considering his reputation as the most successful dancehall deejay ever to cross over undiluted into the mainstream, the odds of Beenie Man's major-label debut being a straight-up dancehall album were mighty slim.
To his credit, though, the man born Moses Davis has emerged largely intact. Art And Life predictably pairs Beenie with hiphop beats rather than staccato dancehall riddims, but between constant reworkings of last summer's smash Who Am I, his frantic toasting style remains intact. Less successful are the watered-down pop duets with Wyclef, Kelis, Mya, Arturo Sandoval and the singer from Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Presumably, no actual reggae singers were available.