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ALBUM REVIEW: HITS AFTER HITS VOLUME 8!

  By Marlon Burrell— If you are familiar with Joe Fraser Records’ Hits After Hits series, the eighth volume will not disappoint you. A standard has been established and hits you do get. There is a great blend of artists and first rate song selection. There is star power for sure and even a couple of legends. Names like Marcia Griffiths and Boris Gardiner gets ones attention immediately. This is undoubtedly one of the better volumes. What better way to get started than with the queen of reggae herself as Marcia Griffiths delivers with “Say Something.” Mikey Spice will get your attention with his distinct vocal prowess on his rendition of the much versioned “Can I Change My Mind.” There is no drop-off in vocal skill by the third track as Richie Stephens … Read entire article »

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ALBUM REVIEW BY AUGUS TAYLOR: “ONWARDS AND UPWARDS FOR ETANA’S I RISE!”

Etana – the soft-spoken singer songwriter with the room-shaking voice – had a promising start with albums The Strong One and Free Expressions. However, she really came into her own with Shane Brown produced third effort Better Tomorrow, where she reoriented her soul-reggae fusion towards fierier roots. It was a side to her always evidenced by moments on her earlier records such as Jah Chariot or War. And with fourth album I Rise she takes it even further: reflecting the shift in Jamaican reggae away from pop and R&B to the harder sounds of decades gone by (a change Etana often supported in interviews – asking why the foundation didn’t get more radio play). Project manager here is the great Clive Hunt – producer of the Abyssinians, multi-instrumentalist and horn arranger extraordinaire. A melismatic opening intro of Mortimer Planno/Artie Glen’s Selassie is the Chapel might suggest an hour of gospel balladry – … Read entire article »

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REVIEW BY MARLON: DANGEROUSLY ROOTS BY DUANE STEPHENSON “A MUST-GET ALBUM!”

REVIEW BY MARLON: DANGEROUSLY ROOTS BY DUANE STEPHENSON “A MUST-GET ALBUM!”

Dangerously Roots Review Over-saturation and over-exposure are words that are often associated with and used in connection with reggae artists who are breaking into the industry. Duane Stephenson has managed to strategically elude that common blunder and space his recordings so that they can properly resonate with the public. In 2007 he burst on the scene with his debut set, the powerful and beautiful “From August Town.”  In 2010 he showed that it was no fluke … Read entire article »

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ALBUM REVIEW: TAKE UP THE CROSS VOL.3

ALBUM REVIEW: TAKE UP THE CROSS VOL.3

  Review By Marlon Burrell—- The last volume in Joe Fraser Records’ “Take Up The Cross” series was released in 2005. Eight years has gone by, and just when I thought there would be no subsequent volumes, here comes the third volume. The format of this album is consistent with the first two volumes, blending traditional gospel standards with originals by established reggae and inspirational artists and bonafide, well produced reggae rhythms. Some of the rhythms here … Read entire article »

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CD REVIEW BY MARLON BURRELL: “MARCIA GRIFFITHS & FRIENDS”

CD REVIEW BY MARLON BURRELL: “MARCIA GRIFFITHS & FRIENDS”

  CD Review By Marlon Burrell— When you are dubbed The Queen of Reggae, your list of friends is no doubt an impressive one. Marcia Griffiths delivers a who’s who list of reggae artists on the double CD release “Marcia Griffiths and Friends” from Penthouse Records, covering a very wide spectrum from seasoned veterans to younger stars, established stars to more obscure artists, vocalists to DJ’s, and male  and female artists. The names of guests include: Beres … Read entire article »

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CD REVIEW: THE BEST OF JOE FRASER VOL.2

CD REVIEW: THE BEST OF JOE FRASER VOL.2

Review by Marlon Burrell About five years has gone by since the first volume of “The Best of Joe Fraser.” We are due for another, and if you are a fan of productions from Lloyd A. Campbell’s Joe Fraser label, you won’t be disappointed. This compilation is filled with hits of the past and present. Most of these songs weren’t massive hits, but there are some absolute gems here. The selections here represent a span of … Read entire article »

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CD REVIEW: “DIVERSITY” GENTLEMAN

CD REVIEW: “DIVERSITY” GENTLEMAN

CD REVIEW BY MARLON BURRELL —— Title: DIVERSITY  Artist: GENTLEMAN Label: VP RECORDS Every now and then, an album whose title is truly descriptive of it’s contents comes out. Gentleman’s “Diversity” is one such album. This German reggae artist shows that he is the real deal with this album. “Diversity” draws from contemporary reggae and dancehall influences, while keeping ties with the music’s past. There are several collaborated tracks on this album and the choices of collaborators are reflective … Read entire article »

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CD REVIEW: I OCTANE IS “CRYING TO THE NATION”

CD REVIEW: I OCTANE IS “CRYING TO THE NATION”

  Title: CRYING TO THE NATION Artist: I OCTANE Title: VP RECORDS CRYING TO THE NATION is I Octane’s long overdue debut album, and from the reaction of his many  fans worldwide, it was worth the wait! Veteran producer Robert Livingston was brought in to work the new stuff, while a couple of previously released singles are included to give his waiting fans the sixteen-track CRYING TO THE NATION.  Without hesitation, my favorite cut is the well-arranged “Rules Of Life” … Read entire article »

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CD REVIEW: “SITUATION” THE WAIT IS OVER FOR ALLAN KERFEW!

CD REVIEW: “SITUATION” THE WAIT IS OVER FOR ALLAN KERFEW!

CD Review – ALLAN KERFEW Title: SITUATION Artist: ALLAN KERFEW Label: CANCERIAN Allan Kerfew is basically a relative newcomer on the international recording scene, even though he has been in the business for quite a while. Put it this way, if you frequent the local club scenes in the various Brooklyn, New York, neighborhoods, chances are you might have caught him on stage one time or the other. He has been paying his dues and gaining experience for sometime … Read entire article »

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CD REVIEW: “THEY CALL ME MR. MELODY” – A MUST HAVE!

CD REVIEW: “THEY CALL ME MR. MELODY” – A MUST HAVE!

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 … Read entire article »

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