Pressure Buss Pipe
I Grade Records
April 17, 2014
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
Almost ten years ago a then unknown reggae artist from Saint Thomas named Delyno Brown aka Pressure, raised the musical banner for the US Virgin Islands with his debut album "The Pressure Is On". It marked the arrival of a hugely talented new artist in the reggae arena, whose teaming up with one of Jamaica's successful producers Donovan "Don Corleon" Bennett in 2007 led to his international breakthrough with his biggest hit so far, the wonderful "Love And Affection". The latter was also the title track of his sophomore album, which in 2009 was followed by his third album entitled "Coming Back For You", again produced by Dean Pond, being -- together with Eno Stafford -- the one who produced Pressure's debut set.
And now, five years after the release of "Coming Back For You", the fourth full length album from Pressure Buss Pipe -- as he prefers to be called -- hits the streets. Although he has been featured on a number of releases that came from the mighty I Grade Records from St Croix, US Virgin Islands, including appearances on the Midnite albums "Geoman", "Let Live" and recently "Beauty For Ashes", Yahadanai's "One Atonement", NiyoRah's "Purification Session" and the compilation set "Joyful Noise", "The Sound" is his first full length studio album put out by this well respected roots reggae label, with the Zion I Kings collective being the producers in charge.
It took quite a long time before Pressure Buss Pipe came up with a brand new project, but the long wait has been worthwhile because "The Sound" turns out to be a beautiful album with many standout tracks. It's the powerful acoustic tune "Rise Today", with past halfway the drums dropping in, that opens this collection in a great way. Musically it's great to hear, but also lyrically it's an appealing effort, which actually can be said about most of the songs featured here. Pressure Buss Pipe not only is an artist who has a lot to say, but what he says will surely appeal to those who take time to listen carefully to his songs.
Pressure Buss Pipe continues with the slightly better "Show LOVE", a standout piece with Tippy I's nice melodica solo bringing in a bit of a classic vibe, which works well. It's followed by the album's second single, the decent "Virgin Islands Nice", with Pressure Buss Pipe showing that he's proud of his homeland. Actually the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism uses this song in their promotion campaign for this summer season.
After these three songs, together forming a real good opening part of this collection, the first collaboration track of this album sees Jamaican singjay Lutan Fyah joining Pressure Buss Pipe on "Stop This Train". The latter is a massive tune, with both artists doing an amazing job. The funky groovin' riddim with on top the horns of Balboa Becker (trombone) and Garrett Kobsef (saxophone) makes you wanna dance, although you shouldn't overlook the lyrics either. And also the next combination piece, now with Ras Batch and NiyoRah, benefits from a funky beat and a majestic horn section, this time consisting of trumpet player Grayson Farmer and saxophonist Frankie "Ranks" Moniz. Cruzan artist Volcano appears on the fiery ganja anthem "Herbsman Town", while Midnite's Vaughn Benjamin is present on the wonderful "Nothing No Wrong".
"Stand Firm" is a killer, bringing us Pressure Buss Pipe at his very best. Top notch vocals, lyrics to match and a huge riddim make this tune a standout. "Who You Are" is a solid effort worth hearing, which however is outmatched by "Serious About It", another standout piece with a wicked bass and once again appealing horns. Both "Run Away", the first single taken from this album, and the beautiful "The Rain" across the "Songbird" riddim, are familiar tunes which are any less than excellent. Before "The Sound" rounds off this album in the same vein as the opening track, it's the spiritual "Hail The King Of Kings" that makes a royal impression.
Pressure Buss Pipe's "The Sound" is a true masterpiece and that's also the great album cover painted by Sil Cunningham, who was also responsible for the great cover of Earl Sixteen's "Natty Farming (Showcase)".