Blogs Bugle: ‘Toxicity’ Album Review

  • October 24, 2021
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Bugle’s Toxicity album, which was released on Friday, October 22, is a mixture of a clarion call to Jamaican politicians and leaders across the spectrum, and even romantic partners, to “break up their fallow grounds”.

Despite the connotations evoked by the album’s name, the theme of the songs are not all about emotionally unhealthy behaviors and unsavory characters. The album also covers fulfilling romantic love relationships, love for self, and love for others.

Bugle’s writing skills throughout the 16-track album are, remarkable though not unexpected. Known for his punch lines and effective use of figurative language to drive home his points in a witty and salient manner, the Portland native aptly delivers on his latest body of work, which was released through An9ted Entertainment and Evidence Music.

The purpose of the “toxic tracks” on the album—including the title track Toxicity, is aptly summarised in the album’s intro in which Bugle, with harmonies from Tony Gold, uses adjectives such as blind, gullible, horrible, educated dunce, selfish and uncaring, critical, weak and contrary to describe the state of affairs of the world’s ‘hypocritical’ people.

Other vices of mankind are also highlighted in what he describes as a scary world with cruel people with no value for life, and are judgmental, distant, ungrateful, unfaithful, disconnected and corrupt, all of which have put him in a state of “panic”.

A follow-up to his last album Picture Perfect in 2019, Toxicity features five preleased tracks namely My Life, Experience featuring Nation Boss, the title track Toxicity, Prenup and Connected with Jahmiel which was released in early October.

The rest of the album features collaborations with Kabaka Pyramid, Beenie Man, Tony Gold, Jesse Royal, Julian Marley and Bounty Killer.

Bugle cautions his listeners about penalties for negative actions in the track Consequences, and in a beautiful blend of voices featuring Bounty Killer and Julian Marley in Time is of Essence, pointed to the fact they had grown tired of, and annoyed with the shenanigans of trifling politicians.

In Change the World, he and Reggae Revival’s Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid reflect on the travails of black people.

Bugle, whose given name is Roy Thompson, is in his element in My Life as he passionately reflects on his days growing up as a poor youngster to his ascension to stardom and wealth which he uses for good, to uplift himself and others, never straying onto the negative path. My Life is an upbeat, beautifully written, catchy track that is sure to become an anthem in the Dancehall.

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