Album review
Music Is Life
Beres Hammond
VP Records-Walboomers Music
08 - 04 - 2001

Tracking list

  1. Ain't It Good To Know
  2. They Gonna Talk
  3. Wanna Cry
  4. Dusty Road
  5. Rock Away
  6. I Love Jah featuring Flourgon
  7. Dance 4 Me featuring Wyclef
  8. Angel Eyes
  9. Mary Mary
  10. Don't Play With My Heart
  11. Gonna Shine Again
  12. Music Is Life
  13. Would You Baby
  14. Honey, Wine, & Love Songs
  15. Rise & Shine
  16. African People featuring Pam Hall & Bopee
  17. Give Me A Friend
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

After a 3 year break Beres Hammond is back on the scene with the brandnew album "Music Is Life". Since the early nineties Beres proved his position in the dancehall with fine releases for Jamaica's top labels like Penthouse, Xterminator, Star Trail, Fat Eyes and his own Harmony House imprint, delivering superb songs sung with his beautiful soulful, groggy voice inna lightweight dancehall stylee.
The album contains some previous chart toppers such as They Gonna Talk, Honey, Wine & Love Songs, Rock Away, and Don't Play With My Heart. The first song is a splendid reworking of Winston Francis' 'Mr. Fix It' riddim and has proven to be very popular with the reggae massive all over the world, resulting in a string of hit versions by Half Pint, Anthony B, Saba and Tony Curtis. More hit potential songs are Wanna Cry, Rise And Shine and Angel Eyes. The opening tune sees Beres in fine form, riding Studio One's classic 'Get In the Groove' riddim. More Studio One riddims -'I'm Just A Guy'- can be heard on Dusty Road. His collaboration with 80's deejay Flourgon results in a firm dancehall track called I Love Jah. This tune is followed by the duet with Wyclef Jean, Dance 4 Me, which is not the strongest tune on the album. As always Beres includes some sentimental ballads on his album: on African People he teams up with Pam Hall and guitarist Winston Bopee. The closing tune of the album is the mid tempo-ballad entitled Give Me A Friend.
Musicians on board for 'Music Is Life' read like a "who is who" in reggae music. Check out these names: Dean Fraser, Flabba Holt, Paul Crossdale, Robbie Lyn, Donald Dennis, Dwight Pickney, Michael Fletcher, Nambo Robinson, Sydney Mills, Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Lloyd 'Obeah' Denton, Christopher Birch, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Style Scott, and David Madden among others. Most production credits go to Beres Hammond and producers like Colin "Bulby" York, Phillip "Fatis" Burrell, Lynford "Fatta" Marshall, & Karl Toppin round out the list.
Although this new Beres Hammond is definitely a good album, it is certainly not his best around. In the past he has delivered more consistent albums, but for those who love the sound of the sweet-voiced Beres Hammond this one's a treat and a good purchase.

Teacher & Mr. T.