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Album Review

Kingston’s ‘Tomorrow’ is out of season

September 21, 2009

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Pop/Reggae
Sean Kingston Tomorros
Epic
ESSENTIAL ’’Wrap U Around Me’’

It might seem unfair, but certain forms of music come with a seasonal expiration date. What sounds fun and frivolous dancing around the pool in a tankini with a fruity drink in hand can seem grating as the leaves change and the turtlenecks come out.

We’d let the silly lyrics and robotic tempos of Sean Kingston’s sophomore album slide if it were mid-July and we were in the mood for Euro-disco/reggae mash-ups, and straight-up electro-pop. But in autumn we can’t abide clumsily constructed sentiments like, “We don’t care how you feel/ Our love is magical for real’’ over a thin acoustic guitar lick and fidgety, canned beats.

A number of tracks transcend the summer vibe as the 19-year-old Kingston toggles between several genres and two personas: club-banging boaster and sensitive teen crooner. The big club jams, like the RedOne-produced hit “Fire Burning,’’ serve their purpose of setting the feet moving, but offer Kingston at his worst vocally, monotonously barking about hot chicks on the floor. Quieter songs show off a smoother sound.

And a couple of the tracks produced by Kingston mentor JR Rotem (50 Cent/Britney Spears), such as the Diane Warren ballad “Wrap U Around Me,’’ work real magic. Rotem has a way of swaddling simple, memorable melodies and easy grooves in a coat of many textures - blurting synths, fuzzy guitars, clipped hand claps - that transform otherwise drab tunes into bona fide ear worms no matter the weather. (Out tomorrow)

SARAH RODMAN