Shenseea – “Alpha” review

Shenseea is a 25 year singer, songwriter & DJ from Kingston, Jamaica who’s dropped a handful of singles since 2015 like the Vybz Kartel-assisted “Loodi” or “Run Run”. She then signed to Interscope Records prior to the pandemic, but got her biggest push yet after appearing on the “Ok Ok” remix off Kanye West’s final Def Jam album DONDA this past summer. So given that, it was only a matter of time until she’d strike while the iron’s hot & drop a full-length debut.

“Target” with Tyga starts off the album with a decent ballad accompanied by a blissful atmosphere talking about doing right by one another whereas “Can’t Anymore” is a much more peppier follow-up wanting to get nasty. “Deserve It” goes into a more dancehall direction fantasizing over the perfect guy leading into 21 Savage tagging along for “R U That?”, which is a fresh fusion of contemporary R&B & trap outlining what kind of relationships they want.

Meanwhile on “Lick”, we have Megan Thee Stallion coming into the picture for a more refined version of “W.A.P. (Wet Ass Pussy)” down to the Murda Beatz instrumental just before the Offset-assisted “Bouncy” reveals itself to be a playful ass-shaking anthem. “Henkel Glue” returns to dancehall turf as Shenseea goes back & forth with Bernie Man talking about how this isn’t any kind of regular love, but then “Lying If I Call It Love” is a reggae-tinged slow jam detailing not being in love with her partner (played by Sean Paul) even though the sex is great.

“Hangover” comes through with an airy trap ballad advising how much it’s gonna hurt when she breaks up with her man while “Body Count” spaciously advises her new lover not to worry about such. “Egocentric” melodically advises how much your ego can damage you while “Shen Ex Anthem” pretty much speaks for itself over a pillowy beat. The penultimate track “Sun Comes Up” reveals itself to be an empowering anthem about rising up & to end the album, Tyga returns for the endearing “Blessed” addressing their gratitude for where they are today.

For a commercial debut, I think Alpha further cements Shenseea as the most exciting new face in the dancehall scene. She still stays true to her roots, but I also think it’s fun the way she tries to incorporate elements of hip hop & pop into her music.

Score: 3.5/5

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