True Progress
Ras Flabba
Sunvibe Records
February 12, 2012

True Progress - Ras Flabba Track list
  1. My Father's Words
  2. Germ Warfare
  3. Let's All Unite
  4. Harbour Shark
  5. The Hotter The Battle
  6. So Let Them Say
  7. It's Too Late
  8. Solomon
  9. Please Mr. Officer
  10. Roots Go Back To Africa
  11. Turf
  12. A Prayer For Africa
  13. Informer
  14. Nah Stop Smoke It
  15. Sit Alone Again
  16. Help!
  17. You Were Always On My Mind
  18. You To Me Are Everything
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Alton Hugh Simpson aka 'Flabba', was born in 1954 in Portland, Jamaica. At the age of seven he moved to Bristol, UK and in 1978 he decided to settle in Iserlohn, Germany. Here he formed the group 'ADISA' in 1981 together with four other friends. He was the bass player in the band and sang backing vocals. Years later the band was styled around the three singers, Flabba, 'Cat' and 'JP', and became known as 'Three-Dimension'. The album 'Road-Block' in 1990 and the Italy-tour in 1991 were the highlights of the 'Three- Dimension'-project.

Continually searching for new challenges, Flabba decided on a solo career alongside 'Three-Dimension' and his album 'Moving Forward' followed in 1993. 'Moving Forward' became the source of motivation in his solo-career. He began working on new material, the result being the album 'Zing!', which was released in 1996. In 2001 Flabba started working on his third album 'African Gold'. It was completed in August 2002. At the same time the maxi-CD 'Wanted Man' with 'Telephone' (an album-track from 'African Gold') was released too. During the work on his album Flabba made a few guest appearances with the band 'New Culture' from Iserlohn, Germany, and ended up staying in the band for a period of ca. two years. 'New Culture' produced the live-CD 'Strictly Live' with him. In 2005 Flabba was nominated for a Reggae Grammy (Category best singer) and played numerous gigs with the Natural Mystic band where he shares the lead singer role with Mr Irieman. In 2007 Flabba released his album 'The Music In Me'. After a tour in Germany he started working on his current album 'True Progress'.

The 18 track album offers some truly good self-penned outings, but on the other hand it features a few needless covers such as the early Beatles' classic Help!, the Real Thing's disco classic You To Me Are Everything and You Were Always On My Mind. However James Ingram's Sit Alone Again is done in fine style by Ras Flabba, good effort! Ras Flabba also covers a reggae tune. It's the Hugh Mundell song Let's All Unite and the result is much better! Solomon is another reggae cover, "Girl Leave Flabba alone...", and Bob Andy's (So) Let Them Say is a solid do-over, worth spinning several times. The first tune My Father's Words is a strong conscious tune, followed by the anti-war song Germ Warfare, a song with too much synth influences. Harbour Shark makes a solid impression, followed by The Hotter The Battle. a tune that incorporates a speech by Malcolm X. It's Too Late is a lightweight lovers tune, but Roots Go Back To Africa is a strong rootical tune. Colonel Witty introduces the pro-herb song Nah Stop Smoke It, one of the outstanding tunes here.

Not all tunes here are winners and the lack of real instruments makes the sound grow 'thin', but there are still enough good tunes here to check out!