Burnin' Love
Band Together Records

Track list
  1. Thing Called Love
  2. Rainy Day Woman
  3. Live As One
  4. Don't Hide Your Light
  5. Sweet Love
  6. Feed The People
  7. Revelation Rock
  8. No Other Love (Like You)
  9. Live In Peace
  10. Over And Over
  11. A Love Supreme
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4
This CD is another example of a USABB, you can check out the sounds from Afire's (RAW member #770) latest release at the following web site, Burnin' Love at http://www.frontiernet.net/~desktop/afire.htm and reach them at afireband@juno.com (Paul Solomon). Afire's female lead vocals come from Laniya Solomon, who also provides Rhythm Guitar, the other members are Paul Solomon - Drums; Johnny Azille - Lead Guitar & Harmonica; and Archie Francis - Bass. Additional musicians are Joakim Lartey - Percussion; Peter Buettner - Saxophones; Junior Jazz (who recently released an acclaimed solo-album on VP records) - Backing V ocals & Guitar; Sydney Mills - Keyboards; Joel Bluestein - Slide Guitar o n "Thing Called Love"; Jr. Banton - DJ on "Sweet Love"; Terra - DJ on "Ra iny Day Woman" The songs are all self-penned except for Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Woman". I am still surprised to see Sidney Mills involved in more and more roots-orientated production, he did join Steel Pulse of course, but his roots definitely are the more ragga-hip hop side of reggae, when he appeared on albums by KRS-One and Sly&Robbie. Together with former Bob Marley engineer Dennis Thompson (the man of the famous dub mix tapes) the production and arrangement by Sidney Mills provide a strong basis for the vocals and melodic instrumentation around the tight drum and bass. I have to admit that I had to get used to Laniya Solomon's voice, the first times I spun this disc her voice irritated me somehow, but once overcoming that, I am more and more liking her powerful style. "Thing Called Love" is a strong selection benefiting from the slide guitar accents and melodic keyboards without getting too poppy. The cover of "Rainy Day Woman" is great and incorporates towards the end of the song lyrics and melody of Rita Marley's "One Draw" and Musical Youth' "Pass The Dutchie". "Live As One" is un upful, upbeat song, that leans more towards poppy reggae than the earlier mentioned songs. A Spanish guitar like intro draws us into "Don't Hide Your Light", giving a playful touch to a much tighter riddim , that doesn't suffer for the multi-layered keyboards over it. "Sweet Love" is one of the best songs of the album, the saxophone accents are the perfect match here for the vocals over the bouncy riddim track, here Laniya's voice is the perfect instrument for this love song, you can really hear the love she feels coming out of your speakers, and the DJ-intermezzo fits in very well. "Feed The People" and "Revelation Rock" bring the consciousness back, but "Feed The People" could have done without the rock-style guitar intro and licks, because the riddim and instrumental and vocal melody are strong enough without this gadget. Here once again Laniya's passionate delivery adds to the lyrical content, as it does on the strong conscious selection "Revelation Rock", the riddim is simple but strong, and the guitar here only spices up the song, instead of overthrowing it. "No Other Love (Like You)" sounds like it has been influenced by UK lovers rock, and it has has that same blend of soulful and smooth vocals over a blend of reggae and 'softer-styled' riddim with a very fine saxophone adding that little bit of extra. "Live In Peace" is another uptempo song li ke "Sweet Love" and nearly as good. After "Over And Over" the disc closes on a high with "A Love Supreme", another song where all elements really fit so well. Listening to it, I noticed that I loved the selections that Laniya Solomo n wrote together with Paul, or Johnny Azille were for the real strong selections (as well as the Bob Dylan cover), and that I found 4 of the 5 songs Laniya wrote solo less appealing. I liked this album now, but I expect that if a successor has more songs written with the help of Paul Solomon or the others that I'd love it to the max.