Be Cool
Omar Perry
Tabou1 Records
Digital Release
February 2, 2015

Track list
  1. Can't Stop Me Flow
  2. Praises To The Father
  3. Blaze This Ya Fire
  4. Love To See You Smile
  5. My Shining Star
  6. Nah Go A Jail Fi Ganja
  7. Be Cool In This Time
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Total votes : 6
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Omar Perry - yes indeed, the son of... - has never taken the easy road in pursuing a career in music business. Of course, he could have chosen to use his father's legendary status for his own benefit, but he didn't. Instead he chose to go his own way and to be an artist who wants to be judged on his own skills, talents and abilities. Born in Jamaica, he left the island in 1996 to live in London and then Gambia (Africa). Since 2000 he's living in Brussels, the European capital, blazing the fire in Belgium and abroad.

Although Omar Perry had been around for several years, it wasn't until 2007 that sufficient material was recorded to release an entire album, the Guillaume "Stepper" Briard produced debut set called "Man Free". Then, in 2009, the now defunct Makafresh label put out the sophomore "Can't Stop Us Now", while his third full length album entitled "The Journey" came out on Bonfire PR in November 2011. And now, at the beginning of the year 2015, there's "Be Cool", a 7 track album produced by Guillaume Bougard, Robbie Shakespeare and Jay "Double Tiger" Spaker.

It all began when Sly & Robbie and Tabou1 submitted Omar Perry 30-odd instrumentals, which in the end led to the recording of 10-12 demo tracks. Out of those, 7 were selected. The next part in the process of creating the "Be Cool' album was done by beat maker/producer Jay "Double Tiger" Spaker, a member of the Brooklyn-based Dub-Stuy crew. The latter have established themselves as one of the pillar of the US underground bass music scene and have forged a reputation as the leading crew behind the resurgence and development of Dub Reggae and Sound System culture in the US. Following Jay "Double Tiger" Spaker's de/re-construction of the Sly & Robbie riddims, Robbie Shakespeare laid brand new bass lines to add further heft and fit Omar Perry's songs more closely. Once the riddims were finalized and tailored to the songs, Omar Perry recorded his final vocals. The legendary singer Glen Ricks then added harmonies at Bravo's Small World studio in Kingston JA.

Sly & Robbie have built a staggering amount of riddims and it's good to hear that those picked for this album aren't the obvious ones. The 'remixing' work of Jay "Double Tiger" Spaker in combination with Robbie Shakespeare's awesome new bass lines, make the heavy and tough riddims sound real fresh and contemporary, while also the horn parts of Guillaume "Stepper" Briard spice it up nicely. Vocally he isn't limited, which enables him to adjust his style when it's required by the riddim he has to ride. It often works very well, but sometimes it makes you think if he's still trying to develop a style of his own. Take for example the solid "Praises To The Father". However some parts of this tune give you the impression that you're listening to Prezident Brown. The solid album opener "Can't Stop Mi Flow" not only instantly gets stuck in your head, but it can also rack your brain if you try to remember the name of the original riddim. The powerful "Blaze This Ya Fire", complemented by a wicked riddim, hits real hard and is a standout tune. With "Love To See You Smile" and "My Shining Star", Omar Perry goes into lovers territory. Both tunes are worth hearing, but it's "Love To See You Smile" we like most. "Nah Go A Jail Fi Ganja" makes a solid impression, but it's outmatched by the album closer, the title track "Be Cool In This Time".

Only 7 tracks on Omar Perry's fourth album, but nevertheless it's worth checking out for sure.