People's Choice
Ray Darwin
Joe Frasier / Zojak Worldwide
CD / Digital Release
July 16, 2011

People's Choice - Ray Darwin Track list
  1. Time Flies
  2. Good For You feat. Sara Lugo
  3. False Alarm
  4. In This Time feat. Fred Locks
  5. More Love
  6. It Can't Done
  7. Long Way
  8. Rasta
  9. Dutty John Crow
  10. Tonite
  11. My 45
  12. New York Minute
  13. Standby
  14. People's Choice
  15. Another Day
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 7-
Very Good -Votes: 4-
Good -Votes: 6-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 17
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Although he has been active in the reggae scene since the 1980s (interrupted for a while when he discovered his second musical passion, rock music, in the early 1990s and became a part of a rock band called Strange Indeed), it lasted many years before the versatile Ray Darwin became a known figure in (European) reggae circles. This was not until he released the surprise hit "People's Choice" (2006) and "(Nothing Can Touch) My 45" (2008). Besides that he also recorded "Like Sunshine" on the "Mirror" riddim for Goldcup Records and a few singles for Cologne's Pow Pow Productions including "Testify", "Give Thanks", and "Another Day".

At 12-years-old Ray Darwin (born in Buff Bay, Portland) relocated from Jamaica to New York City, where he studied music at Bronx Community & Lehman College. In 2002 Ray Darwin moved to Germany to attempt a short career as a pop singer, releasing two singles on Edel Records in 2002. Soon enough though, he rediscovered his affection for reggae music and started to concentrate on a career as a reggae singer. The rest is, as they say, history.

"People's Choice" is Ray Darwin's long-awaited debut album, featuring 15 tracks including the aforementioned 7" vinyl singles plus his most recent single "False Alarm". Both, "People's Choice" and "False Alarm", come across a remake of classic Studio One riddims, Larry & Alvin's "Mean Girl" and the Mad Lads' "Ten To One" respectively. Great tunes with Ray Darwin not only vocally, but also lyrically being in pretty good shape. This not only goes for these two songs, but also for most of the tracks featured on this thoroughly enjoyable album. Anyone who has ever heard the single "(Nothing Can Touch) My 45" will have to admit that this tune is a real killer, and it definitely belongs to our favourite tracks... "When it's nice we play it twice... So pull up mi selector!"

For the nice "Good For You" he collaborated with major German talent Sarah Lugo, while the solid "In This Time" sees Ray Darwin combining musical forces with veteran singer Fred Locks (of "Black Star Liner" fame). "More Love" and "It Can't Done" are decent efforts, but they are truly outmatched by the superb "Long Way". Big tune! Next comes the partly autobiographical "Rasta", which is a wonderful tune worth hearing. It's followed by the matching "Dutty John Crow", a song with great lyrics. "Tonite", again underpinned by a relicked classic riddim, once again shows how perfectly well Ray Darwin's vocal delivery suits these kinda riddims. On the other hand he also shines on a fresh modern riddim as witnessed when listening to "New York Minute". Besides that the latter exposes Ray Darwin's talent as a storyteller.

The acoustic version of the Ingo Rheinbay of Pow Pow produced "Another Day" rounds off Ray Darwin's worthwhile debut album in fine style.