Children Of The Most High
Little Roy
Pharos Records
November 10, 2005

Track list
  1. Bongo Nyah
  2. Children of the Most High
  3. Christopher Columbus
  4. False Talk
  5. Heat
  6. Membership Card
  7. Bomazee
  8. My Sweet Lord
  9. Stay (A Little Bit Longer)
  10. Our Time Will Come
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 4 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
Little Roy has always had cult status due to his insightful work with Glen Brown. Tunes such as "Father's Call" made an immediate impression -- his compositions were lifted far above the generic by his calm and materially detached vocal style.

In a genre in which artists tend to make the mistake of over recording -- spreading themselves too thin so that their talents can, sadly, harden into clichés -- Little Roy has done the exact opposite, and notoriously, been an under recorded artist.

His cult status though, has never faded, and he has consistently commanded respect over the years.

Much later, in the late 80's/early 90's, when roots music was largely ignored, Little Roy made perhaps the greatest record of his career, "Long Time" -- Cut with ex Creation Rebel, African Head Charge members and Mafia and Fluxy, featuring the under stated and under rated talents of Skip McDonald, this was a true return to form, showcasing dangerous, dark and threatening tunes such as "Righteous Man" and "New Song."

Sadly, "Long Time" seems to have been largely over looked or forgotten by most reggae listeners. Big mistake -- the album features edgy , unconventional compositions which push back the barriers and accepted conventions of what defines roots and dub -- it still stands up as an intriguing listening experience that willingly goes against the grain and the tide of lazy clichés that can, at times, tend to stultify reggae's progression.

This new album, "Children of the Most High" is a far more orthodox, conventional affair than "Long Time" -- and arguably, it does suffer for that -- one can't help but compare this album to the far deeper, thoughtful and cerebral experience of Little Roy’s work for Glen Brown and ON U Sound -- also, it has to be said, the cover versions included on "Children Of The Most High" seem fairly pointless affairs. Little Roy's highly respected, distinctive vocal style surely deserves more than these overtly conservative arrangements.

But nonetheless, this album features some excellent songs -- overall, those of you who love Misty In Roots, Marley, later period Pablo Moses and Israel Vibration will doubtless find "Children Of The Most High" a fulfilling and enriching experience.

It features long term ONU Sound arranger Carlton Bubblers Ogilvie -- surely an under rated talent -- as well as the considerable yet subtle talents of drummie Horsemouth, whose audacious rimshot Rockers styles weave fine patterns around Ruff Cutt Fish Brown's sinewy bass lines.

It's a pleasure to have Little Roy back.

Watch out for more fine albums from this largely unheard of Pharos label, a label that look set for great things -- A label that has the significant talents of Kenton Fish Brown, Black Steel, Sowell Bailey, Horsemouth and Bubblers behind them, has to be worth watching out for.