Shadow at his wickedest
CD review By Wayne Bowman
Trinidad Guardian online, December 11, 2001
Shadow's new cd, Goumangala, is wicked from start to end. There
is music for rejoicing, reflecting and reminiscing in this
collection, which features styles from new wave soca to old kaiso.
There is something for everyone in it and it should sell like
hot hops on a Saturday. And Shadow, the reigning Road March
champion, just might be on the road to retaining the title and
reclaiming those he's held before.
On the opening track, "Those Feelings", Shadow
encourages you to get up and dance instead of just standing still
in the party. Very similar to last Carnival's
"Stranger", the song features a strong festival horn
In track two, title cut "Goumangala", Shadow advises
a young man named Leroy that unless he stops frequenting a certain
house, he might end up a victim of obeah.
"Goumangala" is commonly known as "stay
home" or "tie foot" substances, put them in
someone's food, and they'll want to marry you. The horns are again
the focus in this song as Curtis Lewis, Pedro Lezama and company
crank it out.
Shadow then teaches his listeners the "Universal
Language", made up primarily of drums and rhythmic melodies.
Shadow himself programmed the rhythm here and additional
percussion was added by Olatunji Massimba and Len Coombs.
In "Celebrate", Shadow advises that one should not
spend one's time worrying about things in life that eventually
work themselves out, anyway. Soonilal Samaroo performs
impressively on the live drums for this track.
"I Wish", a song of peace, expresses Shadow's hope
all mankind will one day live as one. He then takes a turn behind
those men who refuse to support financially their children in
"Mind Yuh Child."
Shadow sings: "You happy when yuh walk her in the
darkness. Yuh happy when the hour come to undress. Now the belly
start to grow, the baby start to show. You start to make a lot of
row. Yuh start to back back like a crab."
In "Respect" the horns take a dramatic tone as Shadow
warns that people must respect one another, or else all are
Staying on the reflective, Shadow takes a reverse view of his
"Poverty Is Hell." He sings that despite everybody
wanting to have luxury houses, cars and the nice life, there must
be people there to sweep the streets, clean the rivers and plant
Included in the collection is the classic Shadow song "My
Belief", the original with its sweet guitar riffs and subtle
backing vocals. Speaking of backing vocals, the ladies who
provided them on this collection, Shadiwsh Bailey, Carol Jacobs,
Natalie Yorke and Shirley Samaroo, do a good job.
"Mr Brown" is an interesting ditty about a man and
his wife having a little spat.
Mr Brown, it seems, believes that his wife is really his
personal maid and private prostitute.
Mrs Brown wonders if this is what real love is and asks her
husband just where the old days went.
As if in response, Shadow then sings, "Treat the Lady
Nice". Good advice that all men should take, lest they end up
I must comment on the mastering of this product, which was done
by Lauritz Liddlelow. Great job there, old chap. Mastering, by the
way, is the final process before pressing the CD. This is where
the levels and frequencies are set to precision to allow for the
best reproduction possible.
Serving as engineer for the CD was the man Eric Michaud. Better
than him, you will hardly find.
This CD is good- maybe even better than the last.
Hot Calypso & Soca CD
The eagerly awaited Shadow 2002 CD has been released. Calypso
and soca fans can buy "Goumangala" at
and at the eCaroh Caribbean Emporium in Boston starting December
Throughout 2001, Shadow fans from Toronto to Miami, Port of
Spain to Los Angeles have tried to predict the content of Shadow's
2002 compositions. They have been challenging Shadow to make
another blockbuster CD.
Shadow has named his 2002 release, "Goumangala",
from one of the tracks on the sizzling album. Three other tracks
are immediately appealing, says the CD press release. In typical
Shadow witty style, he gives a serious message to young people by
encouraging them to "Mind Your Child" or take care of
their children. "Universal Language" is destined to
become a calypso classic and the remake of "Bad Boy
Peter" is expected to be the 2002 party tune. [eCaroh]
Shadow, one of the towering geniuses of calypso since 1974, was
Road March champ and Soca Monarch in 2001, but he declined to defend
his title during 2002 Carnival, claiming that deejays weren’t
playing his tunes on the radio. Listening to this first-rate
collection of new compositions and soulful remakes, it’s hard to
imagine why they wouldn’t. According to various interviews with
Shadow, the marvellous title tune, a sly companion piece to
Sparrow’s Obeah Wedding, refers to a) a lizard, b) obeah, or
c) a word Shadow made up walking down the street. The CD also
includes 12 other classic Shadow tunes, all up to his usual high
standards. I’m particularly fond of a high-energy remake of Bad
Boy Peter, one of Shadow’s greatest J’ouvert songs. Unlike many
soca records (which are constructed track by track on a sequencer),
the word on the street is that this CD was recorded live in the
studio, with all the musicians grooving together. It certainly
sounds like it. [MG - Caribbean Beat]