When a debut album has nearly a dozen and a half tracks, you know the folks behind it...
Antony Hatfield 2004-11-08
When a debut album has nearly a dozen and a half tracks, you know the folks behind it are feeling confident. In this case, Jay Sean and producer Rishi Rich are justified. Me Against Myself is of major league significance.
Sean grew up in a middle-class Sikh family and devoted his teens to punk rap. Disillusioned, he dropped out and went to med school but was eventually seduced back into making music. The single "Eyes On You" is a solid slice ofR&B and its recent chart success is deserved. But, in the context of this album, it's a conservative release that one assumes is intended to build a broad fan base.
The title track "Me Against Myself" is the one to watch out for if EMI find the courage to release it. With honesty and self-awareness - more The Streets than Craig David - Sean's singerand rapperpersonae go into battle. Both bruising and amusing, it's a marker that tells you precisely where he's at. The next chapter in this odyssey is a tantalising prospect that is potentially way off the radar screen.
With influences that enter from all angles, any Asian tag totally misses the point. This is an album by gifted people with a vision beyond boundaries and a simple devotion to music. Sean, for sure, is still finding himself and enjoying all sides of the urban scene. The next step will take the courage of real convictions, but there's a glittering prize up for grabs.