Don Carlos
Heartbeat Europe
April 7, 2010

Don Carlos - Changes Track list
  1. Rude Boy (Go Easy)
  2. Really And Truly
  3. I Don't Know
  4. I Love Jah Jah
  5. Changes (Things In Life)
  6. My Life (Remix)
  7. Lady Luck
  8. Favorite Cup
  9. Hallelujah feat. Chaka Demus
  10. When
  11. Oh Lord
  12. Young Girl (Remix)
  13. My Life
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 18-
Very Good -Votes: 1-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 2-

Total votes : 23
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Don Carlos (real name Euvin Spencer) was born and raised in one of the most deprived regions of Western Kingston, Jamaica, in a district notoriously known as Waterhouse. He started his singing career back in 1973, as one of the original members of the roots vocal group Black Uhuru, but a year after the trio's ground breaking debut album, the Prince Jammy produced "Love Crisis" aka "Black Sounds Of Freedom", Don Carlos surprisingly decided to part company in pursuit of a solo career.

Having needed at least three years to get the grips of being a soloist, plus developing a knack for songwriting and grooming that distinctive, vocal styling it wasn't until May 1981 that Carlos really took the fraternity by storm, courtesy of a heavy, roots and culture flavored showcase album titled "Suffering" aka "Prophecy" for Negus Roots. Since then he has built and consolidated a staunch following through touring the live circuit, plus 13 solo albums, including "Harvest Time", "Day To Day Living", "Them Never Know a Natty Dread Have Credentials" all three issued in 1982, "Spread Out" aka "Pass Me The Lazer Beam" (1983), "Never Run Away" (1984), "Just A Passing Glance" (1985), "Deeply Concerned" (1987), "Seven Days A Week" (1998) and this brand new set entitled "Changes".

Don Carlos' vocals are pristine, the 'live' played backing tracks are well arranged and the production is crisp, are three positive things to say about this veteran singer's new album. On the other hand this collection of tunes is somewhat of a mixed bag as it has different styles including roots rock reggae, lovers rock, drum&bass, even some R&B and gospel, which in this case is too much of a good thing. Take e.g. his classic song "Young Girl" from 1982, which is presented as a drum&bass version. It's a waste of time to listen to and thus this track is a strong contender for the 'skip' treatment. More or less the same goes for the gospel tunes "Oh Lord" and "Hallelujah", the combination with Chaka Demus, and the 'remix' version of "My Life". We really don't understand why such tracks are featured on a Don Carlos album, and we're sure his long-time fans won't see the point either. But luckily this set also has its high points. The latter include the album opener "Rude Boy", "I Love Jah Jah", the reggae version of "My Life" and "Really And Truly", which comes across a revitalized version of Horace Andy's "Skylarking" riddim. And when you're in a lovers mood, it's nice to hear a song like "Lady Luck".

Overall opinion is that this new Don Carlos album isn't packed with songs that will satisfy the needs of the avid reggae fan. However if you're a Don Carlos fan you'll surely enjoy most of the tracks, which makes it worthwhile to add this album to your collection.