The Past The Present
Gregory Isaacs
Scorcher Music
August 8, 2006

Track list
  1. Wondering
  2. Please Forgive
  3. For Your Love
  4. Joy Is The One For Me
  5. What My Baby Is Doing
  6. Make Love To Me
  7. I'm Still Waiting
  8. Good Bye Love
  9. Frustration
  10. Sufferation
  11. Dollar No Run
  12. Matey Caan Test
  13. Run Around Girl
  14. Together Again
  15. Hooked To Your Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3
Although there's virtually no information on the sleeve of the promocopy of this Scorcher Music release with 15 new Gregory Isaacs tunes, this one's produced and arranged by Errol 'Flabba Holt' Carter with "Flabba Holt" himself contributing bass and drum programming and Lincoln 'Style' Scott on drums. More Roots Radics musicians pop up with Dwight Pinkney on guitar and Steely and Tony Asher on keyboards. Real horns by Deadly 'Headly' Bennett and Dean Fraser recorded at Bravo's Leggo Studio add to the old school vibe. In fact Gregory's delivery also reaches the heights he was then still able to peak at, thus leading to assume that these vocals also were recorded some 20 years ago and if not that Gregory has returned to a form nobody thought he would ever reach again. With Gregory's delivery fully on top, the sparse riddims being a perfect backdrop for his laid-back crooning and strong lovers and reality lyrics, this is a very pleasant surprise for all fans of the Cool Ruler longing for some old school Gregory. From the first bars of "Wondering" what my baby is out there doing, then continuing the lovers vibe on "Please Forgive" and "For Your Love" and the even more beautiful "Joy Is The One For Me", followed by "What My Baby Is Doing", actually a reprise of "Wondering" and "Make Love To Me" before delivering his take on "I'm Still Waiting" in such a convincing way that Gregory even rivals the most definitive take by Delroy Wilson in 1976 on Bob Marley & The Wailers 1965 Studio One tune. "Good Bye Love" brings back memories of late 70s Gregory followed by the stunning "Frustration" a.k.a. "Food, Clothes & Shelter", a scorcher over Larry Marshall's 1969 'Mean Girl'-riddim, better known as the Mighty Diamonds' smashing 1975 Channel One 'I Need A Roof'-riddim. "Sufferation" a.k.a. "Half Way Tree" is almost as strong, reviving his own 1977 'The Border'-riddim for another full impact reality tune. Gregory switches back to lovers for the next tunes, the fine "Dollar No Run" and the superb "Matey Caan Test". The dubby "Run Around Girl" is fine, but less spectacular after the string of great tunes preceding it, then the great piano riff on "Together Again" mashes the tune, before "Hooked To Your Love" sounding like an old school Steely & Clevie production rounds off this album in fine style. Very satisfying set of old school (early digital) Gregory Isaacs.