To the jaded listener, Wyclef part-two-ing his first album might seem like just a crafty marketing strategy to associate his new work with his best. But Memoirs Of An Immigrant lives up to The Carnival enough to justify the title.
The two albums share qualities: natural production, original, heavy instrumentation, an eclectic sensibility and the occasional terrible lyric. Take the best song, the epic Welcome To The East, featuring Sizzla: She's dancing the capoeira. I see her in Brazil. Her cry sounds like 7 million violins. Knowing that her man won't be back tomorrow, she cries, is the bridge. The phrase You don't gotta be no millionaire to get a ticket up to the moonÉ almost spoils an otherwise sweet Paul Simon connection on Fast Car.
Chamillionaire turns in a strong verse on the Bollywood-infused Immigration, and with soft appearances from Akon, Mary J. Blige and Norah Jones, overall the album is far mellower than the decade-old Carnival, but is not an unworthy sequel.