Thursday, December 16, 2004

Beres Hammond, Turbulance, Gregory Isaacs and Anthony B

Beres Hammond
Love Has No Boundaries
In George Nooks's hit "Lovers Rock," he bemoans the recent spate of hardcore dancehall riddims and calls for an antidote: "Just give me a Beres or a Dennis Brown," he sings, "one of dem real sweet lovers rock." Real sweet lovers rock indeed. If you've never had the pleasure of hearing Beres Hammond, this album'll make you a convert. His voice shines on every track - "Good Old Dancehall Vibes" (featuring the one and only Big Youth) is terrific and "Thanks Fe Mi Pride and Joy" (with Buju) is one of my top tunes of 2004. Hammond is not just big people music, he's music for everyone. 9/10

(Bogalusa/ Kingston)
When Turbulence spouted "man can't love jah jah and love Pizza Hut, that will never ever be, one can't praise jah jah and love KFC," he became my eternal hero - and this wit is the icing on top of his incredibly versatile voice. Unfortunately, Triumphantly isn't quite as, well, triumphant. Turbulence's got the chops, and it shows on "Jah Jah" (on the incredibly beautiful "She's Like a Roses" riddim), "Mr. Big Man" and, thankfully, the title track. But the overall album is either cheesily overproduced or simply too lo-fi. Then again, a little inconsistency is probably to be expected from a guy who released five albums last year. 7.5/10

Gregory Isaacs
Class is in session. Smooth-as-honey Mr. Isaacs proves that he still rules on this Blacker Dread-produced disc. 9/10

Anthony B
"Someone Loves You" is Dean Fraser-tinged gold, the anti-Iraq war tune "Soldiers" (featuring Wyclef) is great, but what's up with the horribly lame update of "Lollipop"? 8/10