Album review
Harder Than Before
Mikey Spice
VP Records / Walboomers Music

Tracking list

  1. Love Grows
  2. Mr. Loverman
  3. Ballroom Floor
  4. Harder Than Before
  5. Here I Am
  6. I Kinda Miss You
  7. Interlude
  8. Love & Happiness
  9. Talk It Over
  10. Best West Ses
  11. Trod A Long
  12. Baby I Do
  13. Losing Me
  14. Yes I Will
  15. Grab Yu Lass
  16. Hurt
  17. Yes Mi Friend
  18. Thank God I Am Free
  19. Only Just Began
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Michael Johnson aka Mikey Spice, was born on the 21st of July 1965 in the City of Kingston Jamaica. In his childhood he learned to play several instruments. After having performed in the hotel circuit at the north coast of Jamaica Mikey Spice teamed up with Ocho Rios based producer Barry O'Hare for whom he started recording in 1992. His rendition of the Barry White tune "Practice What You Preach" was an instant hit success and actually this fine singer's breakthrough to a broad audience. Spice's hit tune was soon followed by his excellent debut set "Happiness". After several singles and albums for a variety of producers Mikey Spice's rather successful recording career was suddenly interrupted by an enforced absence due to spending some time in jail.
This "Harder Than Before" album marks the long awaited return of that unmistakable strong, deep, sensual, silky smooth voice of Mikey Spice showcasing the singer's ability to tackle love themes as well as cultural issues in an equally convincing way. And although there are enough notable efforts to enjoy this 19 track album, it is only fair to conclude that it ain't the consistent delivery one might expect from this gifted singer/songwriter. Big tunes like "Mr. Loverman", the title track "Harder Than Before", the wicked combination tune with deejay Louie Culture entitled "Grab Yu Lass", "Trod A Long", the censored (!) "Best Wes Ses" and his adaption of "Duppy Conqueror" from the legendary Bob Marley entitled "Yes Mi Friend", are accompanied by - typical wrong choice! - cover versions like "Love Grows", Timi Yuro's "Hurt" and The Carpenters' "Only Just Began". Mikey Spice - who once told us to be a huge fan of soul singer Teddy Pendergrass - could have done better than this if he only had explored other musical territories to get the correct tunes to cover. However, with executive producer Lloyd Campbell of Joe Frasier Records, Mikey Spice has delivered an album with nuff solid and entertaining tunes to make it worth while checking out.

Teacher & Mr. T.