While Bunji Garlin isn't exactly a new artist, the rise of soca music in the international scene has recharged the Trinidadian artist's career. Last seen burning up the stage alongside soca champ Machel Montano at the most recent edition of Drake's OVO Fest in Toronto, Garlin's latest full-length comes strong.
Building on last album Differentology — and a successful title track remixed by Major Lazer and starring Busta Rhymes — Turn Up is clearly aimed at a wider audience. It accomplishes this with tracks that feature heavy Major Lazer influences, notably "Dance in Paint" and the EDM-minded "Way Up." That said, Garlin knows his hardcore Carnival season audience, and serves up the throwback feel of "Turn Up" and "1995." Switching it up with a hip-hop feel on the Damian Marley collaboration "The Message," Garlin reveals his versatility.
Turn Up rides a fine balance between traditional and experimental soca, and does so successfully. (VP Records)