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Title: They Call Me Mr. Melody 

Artist: Singing Melody

Label: Shem Records

Rating: ****

“This is the first album I’ve done in many years since taking  time off from my solo career to work with my group…when I made the decision to return to the studio, I didn’t intend to spend two years working on this record…” declared Singing Melody. The fact that it took two years to complete “They Call Me Mr. Melody” is a testament to the professional approach, and maturity of one of current Reggae’s most versatile singers! During the period making this album, Melody has had quite a few hit songs with his group L.U.S.T., which include other accomplished vocalists like Thriller U, Tony Curtis, and Lukie D. It was in 1987, when I first became aware of the smoothness and clarity of  the voice belonging to a young singer  emerging on the scene (I had stopped by the famed King Tubby’s studio in Waterhouse, looking for another artist) and I remember being very impressed with Melody’s delivery on the track that was played for me. By 1988, I began my association with him in various capacities. And over the years, I have always given his songs special attention on my play list, and this, without regrets nor apologies!

“They Call Me Mr. Melody”  is his sixth studio album, and is so aptly titled. It showcases an artist who has come a long way, and has developed into one of the best the music has to offer. The diversity of  the selections of  songs offered here, will certainly satisfy the appetite of his many fans, who have patiently waited for this well-produced, arranged, and written album – from the first track “No More (Ta-Da)” to the last “Call On His Name”  Thus far, “Collide” has emerged as the first hit single making the charts in various locations. Gaining respective air-play is “Time Wasted” – which will easily be the next charted single. However, various radio jocks are taking the liberty of also playing their personal favorites – this is indeed solid evidence that  “They Call Me Mr. Melody” is packed with all sorts of “goodies!” Except for “Collide”, all the tracks are original compositions, written or co-written by Singing Melody.

For me, other outstanding tracks include “Smile” a combination with Daddy U Roy, utilizing the riddim to Delano Stewart’s 1969 hit “Stay A Little Bit Longer”, Melody’s combination with Paul “Lymie” Murray on “Reggae To The Bone” has hit the right notes, and has become a favorite on the Foundation Radio Network’s request line. “Must Be The Girl” with Stacious, sheds a different light on this dancehall diva, “Leaders Of The World” and the inspirational “Call On His Name”, “Don’t Cry” “Call It The Blues” and “No More (Ta-Da) are also doing it for me.

Congratulations are in order to Singing Melody and his producers Lynford “Fatta” Marshall, Lukie D, Tony Kelly, Donovan Germain, and Cordel “Shatta” Burrell, for doing a fantastic job in putting together this classy body of work. Great things are truly expected for “They Call Me Mr. Melody” For those who are constantly complaining of the lack of good Jamaican music, here is an opportunity, take it, and make this album a member to your collection of good music. “They Call Me Mr. Melody” is highly recommended.

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