Album review
July 12 - 2004

Tracking list

  1. Queen Elizabeth
  2. Star, Daily News Or Gleaner
  3. Atlantis Lover
  4. Palaving
  5. Treason
  6. Anarexol
  7. Chip Out
  8. Wild Like A Tiger
  9. Don't Run And Cry
  10. How I Got My Name
  11. Teacher (12" mix)
  12. Anarexol (12" mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

He is 6'6" tall, with an elastic face and easy grace, and a winning personality that comes across with every move. His name is Eek-A-Mouse, and he is one of the hottest performers in the field of reggae music. His uniqueneess as a performer comes from his strong, uncommon vocal style and the ability to roll his voice into an additional instrument. Eek-A-Mouse is the originator and finest exponent of that perticular form of reggae which has come to be known as "sing-jay". Sing-jay is a combination of singing and dee-jaying, referred to in Jamaica as 'toasting', embellished with an assortment of unusual vocal sound effects. In the percussive and nasal aspects of his vocalizations, Eek-A-Mouse is reminiscent of African and Brazilian singers, with intimations of Eastern tonalities. The Boston Globe calls him "the Al Jarreau of reggae". Another important element of the music of Eek-A-Mouse is the social commentary which is prevalent is all of reggae music. his lyrics vividly reflect the nature of his environment, especially his 'area' - a 'first-class' ghetto in Jamaica's capital city, Kingston.
Eek-A-Mouse has been singing since primary school, developing a natural style which was immediately recognised as different, imaginative and innovative. By age 15 he had established himself in his Kingstown community of Trench Town as one of the most talented singers in his 'area'. By age 21, he had begun to make a name for himself, performing at small functions throughout Kingston.He soon attracted the attention of record producers, and in particular one of Jamaica's leading record producers, Henry 'Junjo' Lawes. Prior to this he has recorded only a few singles under his real name of Ripton Hylton in 1974 on his own label.
As Ripton Hylton, he had consistently lost money on a horse named Eek-A-Mouse that never seemed to be able to finish a race. He finally gave up and stopped betting on the horse - which promptly won! The teasing of his friends gave him a new nickname which has stuc, with him ever since. In 1980 he put out a single, "Wa-Do-Dem" which became an instant hit and remained on the local charts for 15 weeks, seven of them in the Number One position. Eek-A-Mouse received the prestigious DeSouza Award in 1981 for the song, which was released on the Greensleeves label in the UK and reached No. 1 in the Black Echoes reggae chart. "Wa-Do-Dem" became the title track for his debut album, which also included his popular single "Noah's Ark". His second album, "Skidip!", was produced by Linval Thompson and reached No. 61 in the UK national pop charts in August 1982. A series of successful albums - "Mouseketeer", "The Mouse & The Man" and "Assassinator" followed.
The 1984 'Mouseketeer' album is often described as 'the definitive toasting from 'Eek a Mouse'. It's true that the album contains a lot of highlights, such as Anarexol, Don't Run & Cry, and the opening track Queen Elisabeth , but the album isn't as impressive as the 'Wa-Do-Dem' set which contains no dissapointing tunes. More top tunes here are Star, Daily News Or Gleaner in which he examined the bitter rivalry between Jamaica's newspapers, and the entertaining How I Got Me Name for all those interested in his origins. It's nice that Greensleeves has added two bonus tracks, the 12" Disco 45, GRED129, containing the tunes Teacher and Anarexol.
Classic stuff!

Teacher & Mr. T.