Lessons Of Life
August 21, 2004
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Luciano has been one of the most popular reggae singers to emerge from Jamaica during the last decade, as popular with the roots reggae fans as he is with the dancehall fans. Since his Phillip "Fatis" Burrell produced breakthrough album "Where There Is Life", released in 1995, the righteous singer has successfully recorded for a number of producers in and outside Jamaica and treated the reggae massive to notable albums such as "Serve Jah", "Great Controversy", "Sweep Over My Soul", "A New Day", and more recently "Serious Times". And now here's a next Messenjah collection called "Lessons Of Life", the result of Luciano's work with Colin "Bulby" York and Lynford "Fatta" Marshall of Fat Eyes Productions. The production harkens back to reggae's glory days with the riddim tracks built by live musicians rather than computers. On this set there's an all-star line-up of musicians featuring the likes of Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Steely & Clevie, Sky Juice, Michael Fletcher, Dalton Browne, Dean Fraser, Clive Hunt, Robbie Lyn, Dwight Pickney and more. You pretty much know what to expect when you listen to a Luciano album and one thing's for sure, his music is neither overly exciting nor overly adventurous, but it's always worth of hearing. "Lessons Of Life" is a real good album, which features brand new material and the previously released singles "Sitting And Watching", "Real Rastaman", "Roll Away", "Lessons Of Life" and "Take A Sip". No weak tune around, only solid to excellent efforts. Highlights are the album opener "Step Right In" with its sharp social commentary, Luciano's superb re-working of the Dennis Brown classic "Sitting and Watching", "Don't Rush Now", "Take A Sip" (both a straight vocal and a combination version with respected roots deejay Tony Rebel), "Roll Away", the killer "Humble Yourself", "Lessons Of Life" and the awesome cultural tune with Louie Culture, "Real Rastaman". On this album we're also treated to some fine love songs, a part of his mix in his early years of recording but then de-emphasized for several years. The inclusion of songs like the wonderful "Sweetness", "Love Is The Future", the latter in combination with Nadine Sutherland, and "Love Affair" provide a welcome diversity both lyrically and musically.