African Roots
Michael Rose - Twilight Circus
M Records
June 2, 2005

Track list
  1. African People
  2. Babylon Bow
  3. Stepping Out Of Babylon
  4. No Burial
  5. Wan Fi Go
  6. Wicked Run
  7. Glitter
  8. Better Must Come
  9. Days Of History
  10. No Burial (Manasseh Remix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 2
Michael Rose is still on good form, showcasing that distinctive vocal style that influenced many, from the likes of Everton Blender onwards to a number of UK roots chanters. In a genre that can occasionally push up vocalist who tend to the derivative and imitative (how many Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott, Horace Andy and Johnny Clarke sound alike vocalists are out there) Michael Rose created an original vocal style that doesn't plunder the back catalogue of other artists for his inspiration.

Top stand out tune is "Wicked Run" with its evocative and haunting melodies and icy synth sweeps. "Glitter" eschews material wealth. The vocals are good -- but the lyrics tend toward the clichéd with overdone and well worn narratives -- Rose's voice has a poetic quality which surely deserves equally strong and memorable lyrics. Some of the musical/vocal arrangements are predictable too.

Those followers of Twilight Circus who were attracted to R. Moore's "Prince Jammy meets Can" styles -- exemplified on early albums such as "Other Worlds" and "Bin Shaker" -- may not be so keen on this work.

But those of you who buy current Twilight music for its inspired and faithful take on very orthodox, very conventional roots and culture, are going to enjoy this work very much , and will probably consider it as indispensable as his earlier works with Big Youth and Luciano.

Featuring top musicians such as Style Scott, Bobby Ellis, Chinna, and top mic chanters such as Thriller U, Brother Culture along with studios such as Steven Stanley and Incredible Music, this is one for the Orthodox record buyer seeking a late 70's to mid 80's sound.

More strength to Ryan Moore and his sincere, well realised projects -- which to most listeners, clearly just get better and better -- This is the sound of an increasingly popular Euro roots artist who knows when he is on the right track.