Confused Times
Anthony B
Penitentiary Records
November 29, 2005

Track list
  1. Moment Been Waiting For
  2. Confused Time
  3. This Is The Moment
  4. Too High
  5. Never Give It Up
  6. Lock It Up Now
  7. Push
  8. Scream
  9. Can't Take My Eyes Off You
  10. No Surrender No Retreat
  11. Rasta
  12. Simple Something
  13. Jamaica
  14. Dem Bun
  15. Can't
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 2 Production : 2 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 2
Anthony B, born Keith Blair in Clarks Town, Jamaica, is a fiery Bobo singer who cut his first single in 1993. He released his debut album "So Many Things/Real Revolutionary", which included the incendiary single "Fire Pon Rome", in 1996. An artist nearly as prolific as contemporaries Sizzla and Turbulence, his latest release entitled "Confused Times" is an attempt to build on the success of the acclaimed "My Hope" issued recently on the Minor7Flat5 label.

This is an album I was particularly looking forward to considering the praise the previous release attracted - but from the start the album really fails to deliver any killer tracks. The first two cuts are reasonable enough but are then followed by the weakest two on the album. The main problem is that the lyrics are so poor. Anthony B, as his previous efforts show, is a better lyricist than the words "I wanna make you scream, scream - like a netball team" as he tells us on "Scream". This is followed up in "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" with some equally forgettable songwriting and the next few tracks are, at best, OK. Basically, the first half of the album tries too hard to present a dancehall edge and veers off from where Anthony B is at his best - singing reggae music. Thankfully the album then picks up with the title track "Confused Times" - a good reggae track, well-sung and far superior to anything that has gone before. The later half of the album is much stronger than the first and contains a couple of good tracks in "Too High" and the collaboration with Turbulence and Bushman "Never Give It Up". Despite the improvement there are still too many weak moments, not least in the final track - a pointless hip-hop style remix that makes a hash of the already average "Moment Been Wating For" featured a few tracks beforehand.

All in all "Confused Times" is aptly named - not least due to the fact that Penitentiary appear to have misprinted the album sleeve and provided the wrong track listing. Mistakes such as this really don't endear either the artist or label - especially when the artist is so prolific - it simply makes it look like a slapdash effort. I found this album underwhelming with too much emphasis on the dancehall side of things. There are good moments but unfortunately I think they are too little too late to save this from being a disappointing release.