Tarrus Riley
Soulbeats Records / Tad's Record Inc.
CD / Digital Release
September 25, 2012

Mecoustic - Tarrus Riley Track list
  1. Larger Than Life
  2. Black Mother Pray feat. Jimmy Riley
  3. Sheís Royal
  4. Devilís Appetite
  5. If Itís Jah Will
  6. Marcus Garvey
  7. Eye Sight
  8. Paradise
  9. Pick Up the Pieces
  10. One Two Order
  11. System Set
  12. Africa Awaits
  13. Other Half
  14. Eye Sight (Bonus Version)
  15. Whispers
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Essential -Votes: 8-
Very Good -Votes: 0-
Good -Votes: 3-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 11
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
In the history of Reggae music there have never been so many full length 'acoustic' albums released as in the past decade. One might say that it actually was the defunct Makasound label that started the ball rolling with its acclaimed "Inna De Yard" series. But there was also Clinton Fearon, one of the original members of The Gladiators, who released "Mi An' Mi Guitar" in 2005, which was followed by "Heart And Soul" in 2012. Besides that he did a few well received acoustic tours in Europe and the US. Even Tanya Stephens did an acoustic performance at the Knitting Factory in NYC, which appeared on a Bonus DVD that came along with her "Rebelution" album.

And now there's also Tarrus Riley, who exhibits his unbridled talent and versatility with the release of an acoustic album entitled "Mecoustic". The latter, the follow up to his 2009 released third album "Contagious", includes reworkings of tracks from his albums "Parables", "Challenges", and "Contagious", as well as three singles. Furthermore there's also an interlude track featured on this set as well. With "Mecoustic" Tarrus Riley, in collaboration with his musical director Dean Fraser and the Black Soil band, delivers a very fine collection that presents an eclectic mix of musical elements, fusing classic reggae vibes with modern day acoustic rock, Spanish guitar, soul, jazz and African drum beats.

The involvement of Dean Fraser as the producer of this project is a guarantee for attention to detail and for quality music from beginning to end. The man himself blows his saxophone to give songs a real nice touch as can be witnessed while listening to tunes such as "Black Mother Pray", "Pick Up The Pieces" and "Africa Awaits", but also the use of piano, harmonica, strings, drums, and backup vocals showcase his presence. And then, of course, there's Tarrus Riley's great vocal delivery, which is simply a delight to listen to. Dean Fraser's musical arrangements and Tarrus Riley's amazing voice prevent this acoustic set from boredom coming up, although it must be pointed out that it takes a few spins to grow on you.

Overall opinion is that this album is tailor-made for a listening session in a nice, relaxing atmosphere.