Higher Heights Revolution
March 13, 2012
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
It has been a very long wait, but finally, after almost 7 years, Everton Blender's latest studio album entitled "Higher Heights" is out on the streets. After the first spin it's already obvious that the long wait has been worthwhile as this is a decent collection of tunes.
Everton Blender started in the early 1980s, singing on small local sounds in Jamaica, before he recorded his first single "Ba Ba Black Sheep" for producer Danny Barclay in 1985. After having withdrawn from music business for a while, he returned on the scene, working on the Destiny Outernational Sound with Garnet Silk. The latter introduced him to Star Trail producer Richard Bell in 1993, who released a stunning series of singles beginning with "Wi Nuh Jus A Come" in that year, followed by albums such as "Lift Up Your Head" and "World Corruption" aka "A Piece Of The Blender". However his most successful single in Jamaica to date has been "Blend Dem" for Black Scorpio.
In recent years Everton Blender relocated to South Florida area, where the "Higher Heights Revolution" set was arranged, recorded, and mixed, in various studios. Furthermore his daughter Isha contributed to this project as she lend her writing and singing skills. As was the case with his previous albums, it's again interesting to hear Everton Blender's' dancehall vocal style meet 'conscious' themes on his 7th full length studio album. The album opens with "Bubbaru", a very strong effort that reminds of his best works for Stair Trail in the mid-90s. It's followed by "Hold On In Deh" and the solid "When You Wrong", which comes across a revitalized version of Dennis Brown's "To The Foundation" riddim. All in all a great way to start an album as it urges you to continue listening.
And that's a good thing because there's much more niceness included here. First there's the nyahbingi flavored "Lion Crown", done in combination with daughter Isha, and then the soulful lovers piece "All About You". Don't overlook "Conference Table", Everton Blender's interpretation of the Chi-Lites' 1975 hit "There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated Around The Conference Table)" either, and the same goes for "Ali Ali Ho" -- a top 10 hit in 2010 for producer Lloyd Campbell's Joe Fraser label. "Free Up Yourself" and "No Bargain, No Deal" are equally strong, while "Tonight" across a relick of the Soul Vendors' classic "College Rock" riddim isn't far behind. Also nice to hear is his 2006 hit tune "We Need Love", which was produced by the underrated singer/songwriter Hopeton Lindo. The only track that isn't that good and sounds out of place is the album closer, "Conserve".
Although not in the center of the reggae arena anymore, it's still good to have a new Everton Blender album as he hardly ever delivers disappointing material.