Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Crossroads
The Tamlins
Juniortamlinsmusic / Zojak World Wide
CD / Digital Release
July 21, 2014

Track list
  1. Oh Father
  2. Hit Me With Music
  3. Give Love
  4. Our Love
  5. Let's Rise
  6. Thanks For Life
  7. To The Sky (aka Keep It Up)
  8. Don't Let It Get You Down
  9. Crossroads
  10. Power
  11. Lusting
  12. Coming Soon (More Love)
  13. Nah Dash It Weh
  14. Free
  15. Love of My Life
  16. Rainbow Valley
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4
Originally released in July 2013 on cd and on digital platforms, the then 12 track Tamlins album "Crossroads" reappears in digital format with the addition of four new tracks.

The Tamlins, a three-part vocal harmony group featuring Carlton Smith, Junior Moore, and Derrick Lara, are among the most widely respected backup singers in Reggae. Numerous artists including John Holt, Jimmy Cliff, Delroy Wilson, Pat Kelly, Marcia Griffiths and Peter Tosh used the sweet harmony of The Tamlins as backing vocals on stage as well as on recordings. However they also recorded on their own, enjoying minor hits with "Hurting Me", "If I Were A Carpenter" and "Undying Love" in the mid-70s. By 1978 the group had released numerous singles, notably Donovan'Germain's "Testify" and a number of Gussie Clarke's productions, including "Tingeling", "Season For Girls" and "Got A Feeling". Towards the end of the 70s they started to work with the famed riddim twins Sly & Robbie for whom they recorded songs such as "Stars", "Laying Beside You Baby", "Go Away Dream", and "Smiling Faces". However the vocal trio and Sly & Robbie triumphed with their masterful interpretation of Randy Newman's "Baltimore", previously covered by Nina Simone. "Baltimore" held the No. 1 spot for twelve weeks and, indisputably, it was judged the "Number One Record of the Year" in Jamaica on JBC's "Top 100" for 1980. Besides numerours singles they also released several full length albums including "Black Beauty" (1976), "Greatest Hits" (1980), "Red Rose" (1983), "I'll Be Waiting" (1987), "Love Divine" (1981), "No Surrender" (1995) and "Re-Birth" (2010).

Produced by The Tamlins themselves and guitar virtuoso/producer Courtney 'Gizmo' White, "Crossroads" features powerful and inspirational conscious songs as well as a few lovers tunes. The voices and harmonies of the three vocalists are as good as in their prime and their songs, most of them written by Junior Moore and Derrick Lara, are backed by well arranged modern riddims that will certainly appeal to a broad, more mature audience. It's obvious, soundwise this is a different kinda album than the previous Specialist & Alborosie produced "Re-Birth" set, which has a sound that is very reminiscent of Sly & Robbie's production work from the early 80's. Vocally and lyrically the spiritual album opener, "Oh Father", is a beautiful gospel-infused song that makes a good impression. Unfortunately the vibes created by the first track disappear completely when "Hit Me With Music" comes in. This tune with totally meaningless lyrics spoils the listening pleasure. Really don't know why Reggae artists keep coming up with these kinda tunes. Definitely one of the weakest tracks featured on this album. Luckily it's followed by the uplifting "Give Love", a decent effort worth hearing. The remaining 13 tracks include a few standouts such as "Thanks For Life", "To The Sky (aka Keep It Up)", "Nah Dash It Weh", "Free" and the love song "Lusting", but there are also tunes like for example the title track "Crossroads", the funky groovin' "Power" and the cover of Love Affair's 1968 pop hit "Rainbow Valley", that fail to reach the lofty heights of these tracks and by and large make a somewhat disappointing impression.

All in all The Tamlins' "Crossroads" surely has its moments, but that ain't enough to make it a truly worthy follow up to their "Re-Birth" album.