Flying High
Ali Campbell
July 25, 2009

Ali Campbell Track list
  1. Nothing Ever Changes (Pierrot) feat. Gentleman
  2. Out From Under
  3. Everways feat. Craig David
  4. She's A Lady feat. Shaggy
  5. That's Supposed To Hurt
  6. What You Gonna Do Bout It feat. Lady Saw
  7. Visions feat. Danny K & Soweto Gospel Choir
  8. My Heart Is Gone
  9. Don't Shoot The Messenger
  10. It's A Crime feat. Sway
  11. Flying High
  12. My Happiness
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 3/4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Former UB40 frontman Ali Campbell presents his latest effort called 'Flying High'. It's his first solo outing since he left UB40 and his third solo album. Ali is a gifted vocalist and his work with UB40 has helped to popularise reggae all over the world.

When UB40 started they came up with some wicked reggae tunes like 'King' (about the late Martin Luther King,), 'Tyler' and 'Burden of Shame'. Their debut set 'Signing Off' became a classic and the Ubbies started to conquer the world after they released 'Labour of Love', an album of cover songs, in 1983. Since then they have become a fine crossover band. Recently Ali Campbell left the band and was temporarily replaced by another great UK reggae artist, Maxi Priest. UB40 is one of the most successful reggae acts of all time in terms of record sales (over 70 million), chart positions and touring schedule.

Not much has changed as we listen to the album of Ali Campbell. It's still 'UB40' music, and that's not bad if you like pop inflicted reggae music. He manages to come up with some fine tunes. First there's the tune he does with Gentleman. Nothing Ever Changes (Pierrot) is a solid tune with only a small part for Gentleman. Out From Under is a ballad, nothing special really. A better tune is Everways, where he gets accompanied by UK soul vocalist Graig David. She's A Lady is a failed attempt to cover this Tom Jones classic, even with the help of Shaggy. A better impression makes the love song Thatís Supposed To Hurt. What You Gonna Do Bout It is a surprising duet with Lady Saw, whose dancehall style combines really fine with Ali Campbell's nasal vocal delivery. My Heart Is Gone is a mediocre reworking of the John Holt classic. UK MC Sway teams up with Ali for It's A Crime and it's not a bad tune. Check it out! Visions (with the Soweto Gospel Choir) is a rootical tune, whereas Don't Shoot The Messenger is a below average Bob Marley tribute. Please skip the mawkish cover of My Happiness!

With 'Flying High' Ali Campbell has delivered an inconsistent pop/reggae album.