My World, Your World
Irie Pen Productions
September 11, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Hopeton Lindo grew up in the Kencot community of Kingston, Jamaica, and recorded his first song entitled "Black History" in 1979 for producer Mikey Dread. It actually was the second cut on the riddim that underpinned Rod Taylor's scorcher "His Imperial Majesty". However this singer, songwriter and producer is probably best known for his 1987 released 7" vinyl single "Territory", a self-produced song that became a genuine classic. In late 2007 the international popularity of this original dancehall classic led to a "Territory Remix" which became another massive hit. Since his debut for Mikey Dread he has recorded for producers and labels like King Tubby, King Jammy, Two Friends, Cell Block, Willie Lindo, Joe Frazer, Sly & Robbie's Taxi label, and Music Works.
During his stint at Gussie Clarke's Music Works Studio in the second half of the 1980s he established himself as one of the great songwriters in reggae and was given the name "The Pen" for his lyrical prowess to write hit songs. He has written / co-written songs like "Mr Loverman" by Shabba Ranks, "Red Rose For Gregory" by Gregory Isaacs, "Confidential" by Aswad, "First Impression" by Dennis Brown, "Can You" by Brian & Tony Gold, "Temptress" by Maxi Priest, "Wanna Be Loved" by Buju Banton plus many more. In the early 1990s he became involved with the Two Friends Crew for whih he recorded the classic "Gun Ting" on the "Ting & Ting" riddim, in addition to a plea for human rights on the discerning "Orders To Shoot" and a commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s visit to the US entitled "The Word". The latter was featured on a Two Friends compilation set called "One Man One Vote". Following on from the success of the song the Two Friends crew released Hopeton Lindo's critically acclaimed debut album "The Word" in 1991.
And now, almost 25 years later and with two more albums (1994's "For Whatever The Reason" and 2007's "Turf") under his belt, Hopeton Lindo returns with a brand new album entitled "My World, Your World", issued on his own Irie Pen Productions imprint. 16 tracks included on this collection, of which the cover versions of John Lennon's "Imagine", Tina Turner's "Let's Stay Together" and Gregory Isaacs's "Red Rose Rose For Gregory" could have easily been left off the album with no foreseeable detrimental effect to the overall experience. It's hard to understand why a professional songwriter like Hopeton Lindo, who isn't called 'The Pen' for nothing, finds it necessary to go for covers instead of using his great writing skills and abilities to create three compositions of his own.
Hopeton Lindo's smooth and airy vocal style is shown to good effect in songs that go into lovers rock territory and in message tunes as well. The album opens and closes with the solid "My World Your World", the 2000 released 7" single on Syl Gordon's 321 strong label done in collaboration with Dennis Brown and Luciano. The opener is a remixed version done in collaboration with Sly & Robbie, while the album closer is the original (acoustic) version with wonderful saxophone play by Dean Fraser. A truly beautiful tune! Also worth hearing is "Turf Remix", a new version of the title track of his 2007 released third full length album, which deals with the foolishness of gang wars. The single "Children Under Attack" from 2013 is a moving acoustic tune with lyrics that keep you involved and bring tears to your eyes. Hopeton Lindo also gives tribute to women with "Hey Girlfriend" (the 2011 released single on Taxi Records), "Empress" and "If You Only Knew" being the most enjoyable love tunes included here. The soundbwoy tune "Bite De Dust Remix", featuring Freddie McGregor & Rory Stone Love, and the combination with Michael Rose called "Road Block People" (an updated version of his 1985 song that was exclusively played in a radio soundclash between David Rodigan & Barry G), are done in a wicked dancehall stylee.
Not a fully convincing Hopeton Lindo album, but it certainly has its moments. So, well worth giving it a listen.