Album review
Gregory Isaacs
January 21 - 2005

Tracking list

  1. Secret Love Affair
  2. I Don't Wanna See You Cry
  3. So Long Baby
  4. Lonely Street
  5. Caught You In A Lie
  6. My Baby
  7. Still Lingering On
  8. Stay At Home
  9. Fifteen Minutes Ago
  10. Hungry For Your Love
  11. Wanted List
  12. False Evidence
  13. One More Chance
  14. Time After Time
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Even though one easily could get the impression that Greensleeves only focuses on the release of "one riddim" sets, they occasionally also unleash solo albums. Eek-A-Mouse's disappointing "Eek-A-Speeka" and Sizzla's self-produced "Life" preceded their third solo album release of the year 2004, "Masterclass" from reggae legend Gregory Isaacs. For this brand new album the ever popular Jah Tooth has teamed up with London based producer Steve "Blacker Dread" Martin, and this association has led to probably one of Gregory's best albums for some time. Gregory sounds in good voice throughout, doing his inimitable thing in fine style on his usual mixture of love songs with a few reality songs, that show the man's roots. Very entertaining and a pleasure to hear are lovers tracks such as the awesome "So Long Baby" (across a revamped version of the "Time Is The Master" riddim), "Lonely Street", coming with a wicked bassline, the decent remake of the Louisa Marks anthem "Caught You In A Lie", the great "My Baby", the wonderful "Fifteen Minutes Ago" and the excellent "Hungry For Your Love", featuring some superb guitar flourishes from Earl "Chinna" Smith. Also worth of hearing are "Stay At Home", an adaptation of Dennis Brown's "Ghetto Girl", and the wicked "One More Chance", sung over a reworking of the riddim originally underpinning the Royal Rasses' "San Salvador", a classic Coxsone dub-plate back in the day.
The tracks for the album were recorded at Easy Street, Secret Weapon Studios and Mafia & Fluxy in the UK, and Mixing Lab, Steven Stanley, Tuff Gong Studios and Anchor Studios in Jamaica, and mixed - mostly by Colin "Bulby" York and Lynford "Fatta" Marshall - at Roy Francis' Mixing Lab in Kingston, Jamaica, except "Secret Love Affair" which was mixed at Secret Weapon Studios. The musical backing is provided by a host of top-class musicians including veteran drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, guitarists Earl "Chinna" Smith, Dalton Browne and Noel "Sowell Radics" Bailey, Dean Fraser, Bagga Walker, Mafia & Fluxy and the Firehouse Crew.
Gregory Isaacs' "Masterclass" is a solid album with nuff delights to savour!

Teacher & Mr. T.