Tarrus Riley
VP Records
August 4, 2009

Tarrus Riley - Contagious Track list
  1. Living The Life Of A Gun
  2. I Sight
  3. Love's Contagious
  4. Human Nature
  5. Soul Mate
  6. Superman
  7. Young Heart
  8. Start A New
  9. S-Craving
  10. Why So Much Wickedness
  11. Let Peace Reign feat. Duane Stephenson & Etana
  12. Don't Judge
  13. King Selassie H.I.M.
  14. Stop Watch
  15. Herbs Promotion feat. Demarco & Vybz Kartel
  16. Good Girl, Gone Bad feat. Konshens
  17. Mankind
  18. It Will Come (A Musician's Life)
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 46-
Very Good -Votes: 16-
Good -Votes: 8-
Average -Votes: 2-
Disappointing -Votes: 1-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 73
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Tarrus Riley, son of Jimmy Riley and in the early stage of his career known as Taurus Rilley, released his debut album "Challenges" in 2004, but it wasn't until the release of his breakout hit "She's Royal" in 2007 that he started to gain real recognition and appreciation from reggae fans worldwide. It led to signing a record deal with VP Records and the release of a very nice sophomore album "Parables". After the "Parables" set, Tarrus Riley regularly climbed the reggae charts with tunes such as "Start A New", "Back Biter", "Marcus Teaching (Love Created I)", and "Good Girl, Gone Bad", the Tarik "Russian" Johnston produced combination tune with rising dancehall star Konshens.

And now the singer, who was awarded Best Male Vocalist and Best Song at the 2008 International Reggae and World Music Awards, delivers his much anticipated third album entitled "Contagious". The hit single "She's Royal" was the result of Tarrus Riley working together with the multi-faceted Dean Fraser of Cannon Productions, and thus the "Parables" album had 14 tracks out of 15 produced by this reggae icon and saxophonist. However history has learned that Dean Fraser's production work too often has a strong tendency to evolve into a more commercialized, softened kinda reggae, and that was exactly what prevented "Parables" from being a great reggae album. Luckily this "Contagious" set has contributions from a few other producers including John John, Frenchie, Chris Peckings, Shane Brown, and Tarik "Russian" Johnston, but the bulk of the material is still produced by Dean Fraser.

Except for the singles "Start A New" across Shane Brown's wicked "Nylon" riddim, "Young Heart", and "Good Girl, Gone Bad", the album features never before released tracks, a unique phenomenon in reggae circles as most artist albums are more or less singles compilations. Just like his previous album, "Contagious" is a combination of roots and lovers tunes. Recorded at the Grafton and Tuff Gong studios and including Sly and Robbie on drum and bass, guitarists Mitchum "Khan" Chin and Cat Coore, keyboardist Robbie Lyn and Dean Fraser on saxophone, the album has some real interesting tracks. The latter include "I Sight", the title track "Love's Contagious" over John John's highly anticipated new version of Bob Marley's "Coming In From The Cold" riddim, his cover of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature", the Peckings produced "Young Heart" on Treasure Isle's original "Make Up To Break Up" riddim, the single "Start A New", the wonderful "S-Craving", the contemplative "Why So Much Wickedness", and the Black Uhuru-ish "Stop Watch" on Fat Eyes' "General Penitentiary" riddim. Even though the dancehall fueled songs "Herbs Promotion" and "Good Girl, Gone Bad" are worth of hearing, it's odd to have dancehall artists like Vybz Kartel, Demarco, and Konshens doing combinations with a singer such as Tarrus Riley.

All in all "Contagious" is a better album than "Parables", but it could have been a real good one if tracks like "Superman", "Don't Judge", "Let Peace Reign", and "Mankind" would have been left out.