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Carnival Vol. 2: Memoirs Of An Immigrant

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 4 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
  • ASIN: B000V9KDMK
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,844 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Intro
2. Riot (featuring Serj Tankian and Sizzla)
3. Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) (featuring Akon, Lil Wayne and introducing Niia)
4. Welcome To The East (featuring Sizzla)
5. Slow Down (featuring T.I.)
6. King & Queen (featuring Shakira)
7. Fast Car (featuring Paul Simon)
8. What About The Baby (featuring Mary J. Blige)
9. Hollywood Meets Bollywood (Immigration) (featuring Chamillionaire)
10. Any Other Day (featuring Norah Jones)
11. Heaven's In New York
12. Selena (featuring Melissa Jimenez)
13. Touch Your Button Carnival Jam (featuring Will.I.Am, Melissa Jimenez, Machel Montano, Daniela Mercury, Black Alex, Djkout Mizik)
14. Outro

Product Description

Product Description

2007 release, the sixth studio album from The Fugees' Wyclef Jean. The first single will be "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)" which features Akon, Niia Bertino and Lil' Wayne. Other guests include Selena, Mary J. Blige, Paul Simon, Chamillionaire, Shakira, T.I., T-Pain, and Serj Tankian of System Of A Down.

Because Wyclef Jean is a more skilled eraser of musical boundaries than most, his sixth solo record skips through pop, hip-hop, dance, reggae, and rock without sounding like some crazy, over-ambitious jumble. All the way through, context--this being a continuation of the 1997 disc The Carnival and all the keen-eyed social chronicling that came with it--keeps a listener on course. But don't dip into Carnival II expecting to come away with a tweaked conscience and not a lot more; though the songwriting is all serious business ("What About the Baby," with the always on-point and powerful Mary J. Blige, brings a domestic drama memorably to life, and "Welcome to the East" fixes binoculars on violence and doesn't flinch), Wyclef keeps a serious mood at arm's length throughout a lot of this material. In that way, songs like "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)," with Akon, feel energized by an activist's sensibility, but escape falling down the rabbit hole of bummer-dom. Lightness prevails, in fact, where you'd least expect it: "Fast Car," with Paul Simon, makes its point with positivity, hope, and a vibe that can only be described as cool, and "Riot," with the supremely gifted Serj Tankian, will get you body-rockin' and bent out of shape all at once. --Tammy La Gorce

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa23dfe04) out of 5 stars 35 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23fb8d0) out of 5 stars Wyclef Jean - Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant Feb. 18 2008
By Done - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wyclef Jean's sixth solo album "Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant" (2007) is a short enjoyable release. The Haitian MC and Producer delivers an outstanding album which will be enjoyed by an international audience. The diversity of guest appearances on this release is impressive with global guest appearances coming from Serj Tankian (Lebanon), Sizzla (Jamaica), Akon (Senegal), Lil Wanye (New Orleans, Louisana), Niia (Needham, Massachusetts), Shakira (Barranquilla, Columbia), Paul Simon (Newark, New Jeresy), Mary J Blige (Bronx, New York), Chamillionaire (Houston, Texas), Aadesh Shrivastava (India), Norah Jones (Brooklyn, New York), Melissa Jiménez (New Jeresy), (Los Angeles, California), Machel Montano (Trinidad and Tobago), Daniela Mercury, (Salvador, Brazil), Black Alex (Haiti), Shabba Ranks (Jamaica), Djakout Muzik (Haiti), Lucina(Mexico), Sun (Singapore), Elephant Man (Jamaica) & Tony Matterhorn (Jamaica). Clef makes his intro with his daughter talking in the background, leading up to the album's first full length track "Riot" Feat. Serj Tankian (Of System of a Down)& Sizzla a solid track - I like how Wyclef references Big Pun and rhymes like him for a minute. I have two favourite track's on this release, one is the lead single "Sweetest Girl" (Dolla Bill) which features appearances from Akon, Nia & Lil Wayne. Akon's borrows the chorus from Wu-Tang's famous song "C.R.E.A.M." singing soulfully, in a musical tale about deportation - everyone hold's their own on this first class track. The later favorite is a collaboration with T.I. on "Slow Down" a highlight track, Wyclef rhymes and sings about many of the problems of the world, with T.I. relating, Wyclef's chorus is outstanding & the track has a positive message behind it, some people need to slow down & rethink the directions they are moving in life. Shakira delivers some soulfully smooth vocals for the love ballad "King & Queen". "Fast Car" is a laidback collaboration with singer/guitarist Paul Simon. Mary J Blige & Wyclef reunite for another on point collaboration on "What About The Baby". Musical director Aadesh Shrivastava of India provides the backdrop for "Hollywood Meets Bollywood" (Immigration) which features an appearance from Chamillionaire. "Any Other Day" is a mellow collaboration with the multi talented Norah Jones in a track which was originally made for a Hurricane Katrina benefit album. "Heaven's In New York" is the only full length track which has Wyclef on solo, and its a memorable one dedicated to refugees worldwide, Clef sings soulfully " If it was my last day on earth I'd treat it like my first go out the way I came in so innocent so pure with no thoughts of insecurity Live life to the fullest be what I wanna be...". Wyclef and Mexican american singer Melissa pay tribute to the late "Selena" while "Touch Your Button Carnival Jam" is the album's biggest collaboration featuring, Melissa Jiménez, Machel Montano, Daniela Mercury, Black Alex, Shabba & Djakout Muzik. Bonus track's include "On Tour" Feat. Lucina & "China Wine" Feat. Sun, Elephant Man & Tony Matterhorn. Wyclef Jean provides a high quality release full of uplifting music with "Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant".
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23fb924) out of 5 stars Eclectic Collaborations hurt by over-production Dec 5 2007
By D. Hoelck - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wyclef Jean likes music, and he doesn't discriminate by genre. His jack of all trades approach to his past albums brought a distinctly unique feel to them, but with this latest effort, it seems that while he may well be a jack of all trades, he's a master of none.
Jean's a producer at heart, and it's always shown. Relying on the collaborative effort to produce his visions has always worked well for him, and this album is no exception. A huge issue in production, however, is knowing when to stop.
Almost every one of Jean's songs feels like a mess. There's energy and passion, but there is no clarity to it. Mixing genres is fine, but the plan wasn't realized here, and just taking the different musical styles and throwing them into a blender isn't going to be enough.
For all the passion, talent, and exploration here, there just wasn't enough planning.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23fbd5c) out of 5 stars It's like King Midas as I was told.... Dec 11 2007
By Joshua M. Fischer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Everything Clef touches turns to gold. Wyclef has definitely sold out (see his "concert" exclusively for WalMart) but it only means more of his easily earned cash will benefit the charitable causes he sustains. He is one of the few stars who blends activism and humanitarinism in his lyrics, his phat beats and the resulting non-stop Carnival vibe he rides on.

The collaborations on this party album have matched voices no one else would ever attempt...Wyclef and Norah Jones??? Paul Simon??? Wow. Shakira leaves her imprint as does Mary J. Blige, but they're regulars.
More impressive to me is Clef's ability to weave the legendary voice of Sizzla Kalonji into this record. Sizzla doesn't disappoint, but he might get outshined by Akon and Weezy on "Sweetest Girl," or by Chamillionaire on "Hollywood Meets Bollywood." See, Wyclef knows there are billions of potential fans in India, so he puts some wicked bhangra on his record. He knows Mexicans love music, so he sings a tribute to Selena, accompanied by the impressive Melissa Jimenez.

This may be part two of the multicultural masterpiece Wyclef dropped on Carnival, but it's decidedly less Carribean, and less emotional. Now you hear juicy beats and pumping bass, even the intense ramblings of Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Wyclef is a mad chemist!

Just wait for the finale, the 13-minute "Touch Your Button" Carnival extravaganza, the surest way to drive totally across town riding Clef's raucous riddims. Now let's see Wyclef lead the way to solve problems in Haiti and everywhere else where people starve.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23fe144) out of 5 stars Here is my opinion, from a reggae fan. POP!!! Dec 4 2007
By Bronson B. Robinson - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I would first like to say that this cd is good. This cd is better than most of the current music out there. I don't much care for current music and this sounds awfully POP to me so I gave it a 3 of 5. I am a huge fan of Wyclef and the whole refugee clan, so I expected a little of that old style but didn't find much on this album. The Score, the first Carnival, and even that old John Forte cd are great (not to mention Lauryn Hill), but not so much the Carnival II.

Wyclef is still a lyrical genius but I think I only heard "a few" songs where he sings, & Fast Car is probably my favorite on the cd. The message is in the music on this cd, but like past ones the music is not the message on this one. I think the only issue I did not hear Wyclef mention was possibly gun control. His lyrics/ message was subtle yet very intelligent, but the way it was portrayed was just so pop that I don't know how long this cd will stay in my 6 disc changer. If wyclef wanted to get his messages out to as many different markets as possible he very much succeeded. I'm sure there is a track that could be played in just about every country in every continent off this album. I know that in order to make money today your records have to sound like pop, so if this is what Wyclef was trying to accomplish I'm sure he will make lots of money. I just hope Wyclef's new style doesn't rub off on Sizzla Kalonji.

I don't recall ever hearing a cd with so many different genres on it. This cd should have been called Wyclef & Friends. I like lots of different genres, but they were just all sort of a blend of pop once mixed with the other genres. Wyclef in my opinion could have made all of these songs and just had the other artist release them on their own cd's, and then came out with his own cd. There must have been 8 or 9 different genres on this cd, but overall it will get filed under pop. I'm sure the ipod generation will eat it up though and all the Akon fans will be thrilled. Its just sad to me that in order to make money today you have to have T-pain or Akon on the hook.

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23fe228) out of 5 stars The Story Of An Immigrant Dec 3 2007
By Josephll - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Ever since the Fugees split up after the mega success with "The Score", the three band members had diffrent fate. Lauryn Hill release the modern classic "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" but later vannished from the music world after she became a mother. Pras had a few hits right after but also vanished after lack of popularity. Wyclef Jean on the other hand continued making solid albums during the upcoming years and proved time after time that he wasn't only the brain of the Fugees but was able to evolve as a musician with great music that both was challenging to listen to and with intelligent lyrics. Wyclef's debut album "The Carnival" is the brickstone of his solo career. It features all kind of music styles from Reggae, R&b, World Music, Latin to Rock and Wyclef always invites plenty of guests from all kinds of genres to make things more interesting, but apart from other Rap artists that rely on guest to alter their albums on the record companies demand for public interest, Wyclef write/arrange and produce/ everything by himself and then he just invite guests to spice up things a little. His albums always mix two topics, big social problems and feel good dance music. Wyclef made both "911" and "Party To Damascus" to make an example of his variety in styles. One of the problems with Wyclef's albums was sometimes that he wanted too much and made albums that had too many songs, but ever since the "Preacher's Son" we've seen considerably less songs of his albums. It's also been a while since he scored with a big hit from his albums. "Damascus" may have been a club hit, but only reached a modest #65 position on the charts and his last "back to his roots" album "Welcome To Haiti" from 2004 was a non-commercial album that didn't have singles, but in 2006 he wrote/produced and appeared in Shakira's "Hip's Don't Lie" that became the biggest hit of the year, reaching #1 in almost 50 diffrent countries!. However, after many expriments with music and a few years off mostly involved in humanitarian efforts, Wyclef comes back with his sixth album "The Carnival II : Memoirs of an Immgrant. Yep, he's trying to re-create the sound of his classic debut album making a more accessable effort in ages and as always it's full with guest apperences and a myriad of diffrent styles and themes. Needless to say, you probably know if you like Wyclef Jean by now or not cause you know what to expect on his albums. There's a big question though, is this album as good as the first Carnival?. Let's take a look at the songs and find out.

By the title of the albums it's obvious that Immigration issues is in focus here, and by listening to the album alot of songs seems to deal with the issue. Thus, the songwriting is in focus even if the music is as good as always. Wyclef wants to remind us that USA was built by Immigration and the recent trend is no diffrent from the past. Some lyrics can be seen as self autobiographical, others dedicated to people in simular situations, but there's some pure party songs aswell. The first song is a short intro where Wyclef is suppostely writing music. He say things are changing and the world is in panic. His daughter can briefly be heard here. Second song "Riot (Trouble Again)" continue where the intro left. It feature dancehall singer Sizzla and Serj Tankian from System of Down and it's more or less a Rock song with great guitar riffs and high intensity. "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)" deals with a girl that used to be good at school that ruined her life by turning to stripping. It feautures Akon singing the hook and Lil Wayne that actually makes a suitable verse here. It's the first single and really good. Sizzla comes back on "Welcome To the East" with a mid eastern sound. After producing "You Know What It Is" and "My Swag" from T.I's last album, he returns the favour with "Slow Down" and their duet works out really well. It's a rhythmic uptempo with good lyrics. The same thing happens when Shakira join in on "King & Queens" which is one of the highlights. "Fast Car" is my favorite song, it features Paul Simon! of all people. Wyclef starts by making reference to Kanye's songs "Jesus Walks" and "Through The Wire" and ends up writing some of the best lyrics he ever made. My guess is that it's about how we can die anytime. "You gotta be no billionaire/To get a ticket up to the moon/We all know somebody up there/You need a helping hand". In a later verse he also make a refernce to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes that died in a car accident in Honduras some years ago. On the most soulish song of this album "What About The Baby", we find Mary J Blige back. This song is about fathers that aren't around for their children. "Hollywood meets Bollywood" an indian sounding song that deals with immigration and the multi ethnical society and Wyclef talk about how America was built by immigrants. Chamillionaire "sings" the hook and drop a guest verse aswell. It sounds really good even if it's too diffrent to work on radio. "Any Other Day" a slow ballad with Norah Jones, that really could have been taken from her album - minus the Wyclef rap. On "Heaven's In New York" Wyclef finds himself alone for the only time on this album in a sweet ballad with good lyrics. Upcoming singer Melissa Jimenez Appears on a latin inspired song called "Selena" a tribute to the the late singer Selena Quintanilla 1971-1995. Wyclef plays the guitar here and the song is another highlight. "Touch Your Button" is 13 minutes jam feauture a myriad of guests like Melissa Jimenez and (who as as annoying as he can be on this song), and several others. This song just shouldn't have appeared on the album at all. The album closes with that, only 13 songs. Bonus songs are "On Tour" and "China Wine". Both subpar party songs.

Overall, it doesn't hurt to have many friends. Wyclef makes the best out of it here and song after song I find myself praising him for good lyrics, arrangements and styles and most of the guest appearences couldn't have been better. "Carnival II" Is the best Wyclef album since his original 1997 "Carnival". As a self proclaimed world music Ambassador, Wyclef makes an hell of a job of creating music that represents all the world and he always has a thought behind his lyrics. Although there's only 12 real songs here and not 24 (including interludes) from the first Carnival you get what you asked for and all of those 12 songs apart from the aformenentioned closer are really good. I already had alot of respect for this man, but it increased even more after this listen. Wyclef doesn't only put Haiti on the map, but he puts international relations in focus. 4'5 stars and recommended.