Comin' In Tough
Freddie McGregor
VP Records
December 23, 2005

Track list
  1. Lock It Down
  2. Bangarang
  3. Can You Feel It feat. Anthony B
  4. Comin'in Tough
  5. Set The Program
  6. Choices
  7. Red Rose
  8. Love And Affection
  9. Ooh Child
  10. You Don't Know
  11. United We Stand feat. Marcia Griffiths
  12. Little Girl
  13. Pick Yourself Up feat. Morgan Heritage
  14. A Better Way
  15. Save A Little Love
  16. In Your Dreams
  17. Love On Your Side
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 2
Reggae veteran Freddie McGregor (born in Clarendon, Jamaica on June 27, 1956) has produced many classic hits like "Push Come To Shove", "Africa Here I Come", "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely", "Bobby Bobylon", "Stop Loving You" and his signature tune "Big Ship", to name a few. Boasting a stellar career that spans over 40 years, this soulful singer began developing his craft in the mid-sixties. Though his versatility allowed for all types of music he always kept a preference for lyrics of social consciousness and uplifment. In 1989, Freddie McGregor launched his own record label, Big Ship, featuring his album "Jamaica Classics Volume One" as the first major release. Part of this compilation included popular tunes like Little Roy's "Prophecy" and Derrick Harriot's "The Loser".

Equally at home in lovers rock or roots & culture, Freddie McGregor is consistently satisfying as once again can be witnessed while listening to "Comin' In Tough". This set is largely produced by the legendary Bobby 'Digital' Dixon -- with whom he is teamed for the first time in his career -- though it features other productions, including the Jah Ruby 45 "Lock It Down". Thirteen Bobby 'Digital' produced tracks form the core of this cd with "Comin' In Tough" and "A Better Way" being the standouts.

Furthermore we're treated to cover versions of the old Lester Stirling / Bunny Lee reggae classic "Bangarang", The Gaylad's "Red Rose" (which, bizarrely, utilises the melody from the sixties pop instrumental "Telstar"), The Wailers' old ska tune "Love & Affection" and Tony Hiller & Peter Simons' pop standard "United We Stand", in which he duets with Marcia Griffiths. Besides that he also reprises his own old Studio One gem "Little Girl" to fine effect.

But it's on the Big Ship productions of his two sons Daniel and Stephen, which include the excellent "Choices", "You Don't Know" and "Love On Our Side", that the singer approaches the vocal heights that his long-term fans know him for.

Overall this is a solid album from an artist you can always rely on when you're looking for quality.