Tribute To Michael Jackson (A Legend And A Warrior)
January 8, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Bermudian reggae artist Clinark aka The Reggae Torch is no newcomer in the music business, but it has been a difficult journey for Clinark to reach to this point in his career. As a child growing up in Bermuda, Clinark was heavily influenced by his Seventh Day Adventist upbringing and his love of reggae music, particularly Bob Marley and the group Aswad. His father encouraged him to sing and he learned to play the piano.
Clinark first came to prominence in the early 80's with local Bermuda based band called Youth Creation. The band was successful, leading to touring overseas. They disbanded in 1990. Clinark then joined a new band called Studio Six. They did the full circuit of clubs and hotels in Bermuda, with a broader spectrum of music, including soca, soul etc. The band broke up in 1993. Clinark joined Bermuda's top reggae band called Jahstice in 1995. They backed most of the visiting reggae acts including Freddie McGregor. They also represented Bermuda at the Caribbean Song Festival in Barbados. Clinark left Jahstice at the end of 1999. But this proved to be a most unfortunate and desperate time. Clinark was on the verge of a big break in the music industry, but he was suddenly struck down with a mysterious debilitating illness. After years of being incapacitated with sudden bouts of dizziness and inability to walk and unable to work, he was finally diagnosed as suffering with a severe vertigo symptoms. Meanwhile, Clinark's voice remained in full form. In 2003 He was asked by his life long friend, neighbour and former Jahstice keyboard player and songwriter, Antwon Pitt to form a duo called African Descendants. Their demo of co-written songs proved to be a success, being played on national and international radio. Offers from producers in Jamaica, and the reggae fraternity in Europe and USA came in, but Clinark was not yet fully recovered and was unable to travel until 2004.
Internationally Clinark is best known for the hit single "Dem Come", which he sang under the name of Dillinjah on the Dread Unity label in 2004. It was a modern day cyber production with Clinark writing and voicing tracks in his native home of Bermuda and the production being done in the UK. A planned trip for the duo to record in Jamaica was postponed. So Clinark decided to take up an invitation to record a couple of tracks and travelled to the UK in December 2004. Clinark met up with drummer and producer, Tony 'Technical T' Edwards, brother Rob Edwards Jnr and his sister Juliet Edwards who have now come together to form the Nurture Projects music publishing house and record label. Clinark's visit produced a buzz of excitement in the studio and a plan was hatched to record an album at a later date. Clinark and Juliet Edwards immediately got to work on creating songs for the project. So throughout 2005 and early 2006 the team worked on. Eventually, by the end of 2004, Technical T had produced a demo of an 18 track album called "Journey". Clinark and the team continued to work on the "Journey" album project and started recording with UK top producers Mafia & Fluxy. Meanwhile, in 2006, a 9-track live album with Dutch reggae band Poor Man Friend, "Clinark Live In Holland", was released featuring live versions of a couple of songs from the forthcoming "Journey To Foreign" album.
In 2008 he released, with involvement of 'Dilly' McLeod as production engineer and also Gussie P, the album "Journey To Foreign". It featured 20 entertaining tunes and besides Clinark's solo efforts it included no less than 9 collaborations with artists from Jamaica, Bermuda, Hawaii and the UK including top artists like Luciano, Richie Spice and Maxi Priest to name only three.
Last year Michael Jackson passed away and since then many tribute tunes as well as albums have been released. It's a well known fact that his person and his music was a magnificent inspiration for reggae artists all over the world. Clinark presents "Tribute To Michael Jackson (A Legend And A Warrior)", a well varied 18 track album that pays tribute to The King Of Pop in fine style. The musical styles here include dancehall, reggae, pop and soul. So be warned, if you're only looking for reggae interpretations you could get disappointed. The following songs are done in one-drop reggae style. I'll Be There is an early Michael Jackson hit. It's said that Clinark recorded this tune a couple of days before Michael passed away. He is accompanied by female vocalist Adele Harley and together they deliver a solid and thoughtful interpretation of this tune. The tune Smile is a rather unknown tune and it was Michael's favourite song. Jermaine Jackson, brother to the late Michael, performed Smile at the Jackson Memorial performance. Clinark lays down a good interpretation. Liberian Girl is a strong Michael Jackson tune and Clinark's reggae interpretation is a solid effort. Heal The World was USA's answer to Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas and Clinark delivers a sedate interpretation of that song. The song She's Out Of My Life was the fourth single to be released on the successful "Off The Wall" album in 1979. Although the song was an emotional ballad, Clinark turns it into a fine smooth one-drop tune.
Besides reggae interpretations he also comes up with dancehall flavoured tunes. Clinark makes his first venture into dancehall style which lends itself to the opening tune They Donít Really Care About Us, Heartbreak Hotel and Remember The Time. the tracks Lady In My Life and You Were There are presented in an acoustic style. Furthermore you'll get treated to ballads and some pop tunes.
Overlooking the album it's obvious that Clinark has delivered a sincere and mature tribute to Michael Jackson.