Man Free
Omar Perry
No Direction Home/Corner Shop-Munich
March 29, 2008

Omar Perry - Man Free Track list
  1. Man Free
  2. Redder Than Red
  3. Rasta Meditation
  4. Ghetto Life
  5. More A Dat
  6. Fire Way
  7. Ska-Ta-Fright
  8. Cocoanut Woman
  9. Out Of De Cold
  10. Great Trumpet
  11. Woman Love Me
  12. Weh You Prefer
  13. Lady
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 3-
Very Good -Votes: 2-
Good -Votes: 3-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 2-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 10
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
Omar Perry was born in Kingston Jamaica in 1968, a youngster who had the privilege of having a father such as the legendary producer and songwriter Lee "Scratch" Perry. At the tender age of 6, he and his little sister Marsha got the chance of recording on some of their father's songs such as "Thanks We Get" by Junior Byles and "Ram Goat Liver" by Pluto Shervington. Omar, at that age, was interested in playing the drums, growing up in such a musical environment, watching some of the greatest artists that ever worked in his father's studio, the Black Ark : Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, Bob Marley with the Wailers, to name a few.

After leaving school as a teenager in the mid 80s, he decided to form a group with his brother Sean and sister Marsha. They were called "The Upsetter Juniors" and performed at small gigs and talent concerts. They also started their own record label under the same name, produced a few local artists and their only single "Positive Vibration". After splitting from the group by 1990, Omar became drawn by the music and began to find his own way. To understand the music more, he started working as an engineer in a 4 tracks studio by a friend then, met Boris Gardiner who had an 8 tracks studio at that time. So reaching 24 tracks at Junior Reid's One Blood studio was a big accomplishment for him where he worked with artists like the late Tyrone Taylor, Big Youth, Terry Ganzie and Jah Mason.

After leaving Jamaica in 1996, heading for new arising, Omar Perry found himself travelling to Africa, a place he had dreamt of. For 4 years, Omar established himself as a Reggae ambassador in the Gambia, took the opportunity to be a discjockey playing on the national radio station, night clubs and local venues in small villages. After leaving a trail of the Reggae storm in Africa, he set himself a new goal. The challenge was Europe. On reaching the European scene by 2000 as a discjockey, Omar did not waste time in making himself an household name not only as a discjockey but to be seen as a performer as well. Bringing his style to perfection, Omar lives and works in Belgium. He performed at various festivals and collaborated with a few big names such as Dreadzone, Mafia & Fluxy, Mad Professor and Ruff Cutt. In 2003, Adrian Sherwood produced his first single entitled "Rasta Meditation".

While working on a small tour with Horace Andy in 2005, he met Guillaume "Stepper" Briard, who not only is a musician (Homegrown Band), but a producer as well. Stepper, seeing Omar's potential, decided to work with him and together they created Omar Perry's first album. The final result is a 13 track album that incorporates a variety of musical styles including modern roots, dancehall, ska and even calypso, with Omar Perry showcasing his ability to ride whatever riddim he's offered. However, it is open to question whether this approach works well for a debut set. You can't blame a roots fan for not being overly fond of dancehall outings, and in this case he gets three of them along with a mediocre ska piece and a worthless calypso tune, the rendition of Harry Belafonte's "Cocoanut Woman".

Well crafted tough roots riddims serve as a basis for the best tracks on this Omar Perry album. While listening to these tracks, in particular the strong album opener and title track "Man Free" and the matching "Redder Than Red", the listener will witness a hint of Junior Kelly in his vocal and writing style, although Omar Perry is anything but derivative. Together with the already mentioned tracks further strong moments are "Rasta Meditation", the sufferer's tune "Ghetto Life", the fiery "Out Of De Cold", the wonderful deep roots piece "Great Trumpet", and "Woman Love Me", which comes across a wicked refurnished version of Dennis Brown's "Revolution" riddim.

All in all there's little doubt Omar Perry is here to stay as he has delivered a decent debut album. If only he decides to concentrate on what he can do best... perform conscious roots tunes and occasionally add a fine lovers song to the repertoire.