SOLOMON ISLANDS: Iu Mi Flow - Sharzy
Updated: Jan 20
This could be the album for you if you are after some passable Pacific party vibes
For fans of the blog who have been there from its inception, I think it is only fair that you have a better understanding of our process. We typically listen to a selection of albums from different countries then present the other person with our favourite album(s) and leave them with the task of writing the review. When the person who has been recommended the album does not like nor enjoy it, then the workload is split between the two of us, to avoid the situation in which someone is left having to write extensively about an album they did not click with. Whilst this system is usually fool-proof, it has finally been broken by Sharzy and his sixth album Iu Mi Flow.
“As a reggae and dancehall fan I can appreciate the cross-cultural influences that Jamaican music has had when blended together with traditional pacific island music that usually relies on different instruments...”
I genuinely like the album, I think it has a pleasant sound and therefore was left with the task of writing this album review alone. However, I cannot pretend that I went crazy for it and in fact, quite the reverse has happened the more that time has gone on. The album has become this grey cloud looming over my head for the last two months as I begun to panic about the fact that I had very little to say about it. The day has finally arrived in which I have to confront my fears and quite frankly each word that you read is just a weight being lifted off my shoulders as I try to approach our minimum word count. Over the course of the last few days I have listened to the album a whopping five times, in the hope that maybe something would reveal itself to me.
In the words of my fellow music blogger, Joel, Iu Mi Flow is a ‘cromulent album’ and unfortunately there is not much more to say about it than that. As a reggae and dancehall fan I can appreciate the cross-cultural influences that Jamaican music has had when blended together with traditional pacific island music that usually relies on different instruments to the ones found in traditional reggae, such as slit drums, panpipes, conch shells and bamboo stamping tubes. If I had to choose a favourite song I would go for Era’a No’o which has a quite a catchy chorus and a relatively fun percussive beat throughout.
A fact about Sharzy that might interest you is that his name means ‘brother’ in his local language. However, it is not clear which language that is. This is because what is rather impressive about the album, is that Sharzy sings in wide a variety of languages. These apparently include English, Pidgin, New Caledonia, Tok Pisin, Guale, Lau, Kwara'ae, Ysabel, West and Tikopia. This is important as even though English is the official language of the country, less the 2% of the nation’s inhabitants speak it fluently and rely on some of the Islands’ 70 languages instead. I imagine his skills as a polyglot have probably helped him become one of the most popular artists not just in the Solomon Islands but across Melanesia, particularly in Papua New Guinea where he is now based.