Guardian Angel
Natural Black
Zion Roots Music
December 5, 2009

Natural Black Track list
  1. The Prayer
  2. Guardian Angel
  3. Calling On Him
  4. Buss New Riddim
  5. We Don't Play
  6. Open Your Eyes
  7. Reserve My Name
  8. Life's Journey
  9. What You Looking For feat. Jory Hector
  10. Reaching Out
  11. Heads of Government
  12. Careless Ethiopian
  13. Music
  14. Count Your Blessings
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 4-
Very Good -Votes: 2-
Good -Votes: 2-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 9
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Mr. Mortimer Softley aka Natural Black, a reggae singer from Guyana who relocated to Jamaica in 1995 to pursue his dream of being a reggae singer, has since established his name internationally with hits such as "Never Leave U Lonely", "Songs With Feeling", "Far From Reality", "Bad Mind" and "Nice It Nice" to name five, and also by regularly touring the Caribbean and Europe. Although spending most of his time in Jamaica, the singjay remains true to his roots and is often on the local shores of Guyana encouraging the development of talents in the country's budding music industry.

It was in his home country that he recorded the 2007 released "Cool Nuh Black" album, and now there's "Guardian Angel", a collection of tunes produced and arranged by the Brutal Jammers at the Brutal Tracks recording studios in Guyana. This cd was released at the beginning of 2009, but only recently came to our attention. "Guardian Angel" kicks off in great style with four strong tunes showcasing Natural Black's eclectic vocal style -- occasionally reminiscent of Beres Hammond -- to the fullest. First there's "The Prayer" in which he praises His Imperial Majesty on a majestic one-drop riddim with an awesome bass line. It's followed by the title track, "Guardian Angel". This tune not only is a real killer, but it's also the most outstanding piece of the album. Next he speaks again about the 'higher power' in the solid "Calling On Him", which comes with a real nice vibe. The title "Buss New Riddim" might give you a wrong impression of what this song is all about as it's actually a very well written conscious tune worth of hearing.

Then the mood changes drastically with "We Don't Play", a straight forward dancehall tune that belongs to the weakest efforts included on this album. The others are "Life's Journey" -- good lyrics, but for the most part underpinned by a bad sounding over the top riddim -- and the combination with Jory Hector, "What You Looking For", which simply fails to make a decent impression. It's on (slower paced) modern roots riddims that Natural Black has his finest moments as is shown in the strong "Open Your Eyes", the matching "Heads Of Government", the outstanding "Careless Ethiopians" and the beautiful albeit obligatory nyahbinghi tune "Count Your Blessings".

Compared with the "Far From Reality", "Cool Nuh Black" and "Love Conquer Evil" albums, this "Guardian Angel" set isn't that strong and consistent, but all in all there's enough worthwhile material included on this album that makes it worth checking out.