Shenseea Stays True To Dancehall On Her Debut Album “Alpha” – Review

Shenseea alpha
Shenseea Alpha album cover

Shenseea has landed herself on the number one spot on the international Reggae charts after the release of her debut studio album ALPHA on Friday.

The dancehall-pop superstar had generated plenty of buzz prior to the album’s release, mostly centered around her controversial transition into the pop culture after she had expressed that this was a genre she had always wanted to make music in.

In her recent interview with The Zane Lowe Show on Apple Music 1, where she discussed the upcoming release of the album, she stated, “This album is me experimenting.”

Continuing, “I feel like what I’m doing now with this album is like, I’m going to put it out there and then I’m going to see how people react.”

The reaction she has been anticipating has, so far, been largely positive. Waking up to the reception on social media, Shenseea tweeted “Number 1 Album in Reggae Category in just 1 hour,” as the caption for a selfie that was photobombed by a hidden male face, whom many of her followers speculated to be London on da Track.

After being criticized heavily on her desire to focus on Pop music and dominate that space, the album’s release has shown that she has not left her dancehall roots. The project is a soothing mix of Reggae, Dancehall, and Pop and has clearly been well received by the respective communities.

“The hypnotic flow of eye-watering blunt lyrics” is what one major international media house has described the album so far. Akin to the familiar nature of the persona Shenyeng fans have grown accustomed to, Shenseea’s personality never wavered throughout the album. Her identity remained intact, giving the 14-track project that true authentic vibe that will undoubtedly resonate with many listeners.

ALPHA features a host of artistes and international collaborations. Most notably, her song with Meghan Thee Stallion LICK is one of the more well-known pieces from the album. Offset featured on Bouncy, the 6th song on the project.

Tyga also features on the album twice, as he is seen with Shen starting and ending the project with Target and Blessed, respectively. 21 Savage featured on R U That, the song which landed Shenseea in the Billboard history books earlier this week after the single was released. The song debuted at number thirty-seven on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, number twenty-five on Rap Airplay, number thirty-four on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, and number thirty-six on Rhythmic Airplay Top 40, making Shenseea the first female artiste from Jamaica to debut on four Billboard charts simultaneously as a lead artiste.

As it relates to Shen’s local counterparts, Beenie Man and Sean Paul were also featured on the album, adding that raw, old-school vibe to the project, which has seemingly gone down well with many of Shenseea’s fans based on the reception the two songs have received on social media so far.

It will be interesting to see the continued scrutiny the album will receive over the next few days. But ALPHA is a testament to her resilience in wanting to make an impact her way and not being confined to a particular identity. Her willingness to branch out from being a sole Dancehall artiste will either prove to be the best decision of her career or one which she will have to learn from. Only time will tell.