Rising Above
Anthony Selassie
St. Michael 777 Music
October 20, 2009

Anthony Selassie - Rising Above Track list
  1. Say A Prayer
  2. Rising Above
  3. Only Love feat. Tony Rebel
  4. That's My Joy
  5. Danger Zone
  6. What A Woe
  7. Reggae Nice Again
  8. Jah Love
  9. Point Of No Return
  10. Grow Mi Natty Congo
  11. Never Worry
  12. Source Of My Life
  13. Mountains High
  14. Jah is My Help
  15. Spiritual Loving
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Essential -Votes: 2-
Very Good -Votes: 2-
Good -Votes: 5-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 9
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3
The first time Anthony Selassie (born Dale McLaren) came to our attention was back in 1994 when his Derrick Morgan produced combination tune with Garnet Silk "Yu See The Girls Dem", appeared on a HeartBeat compilation set entitled "Tony Rebel Meets Garnett Silk In A Dancehall Conference". Since then we've been on the outlook for more recordings of this fine singer, who is also well known as a recording and mixing engineer. Because, for whatever reason, he has never been a high prolific artist, we were only treated to the occassional 7" single, released on labels like Roaring Lion, Roller Records, Reggae Vibes, St. Michael 777 Music, and Beres Hammond's Harmony House imprint. The latter featured his biggest hit to date, "Ya Ho", a rendition of the classic Viceroys' song done in comnbination with Louie Culture.

And now there's finally a full length album from the conscious, spiritual and talented Anthony Selassie. Most of the tracks included on this thoroughly entertaining and highly enjoyable "Rising Above" set use live instruments and are mixed through an analogue board to give them rich, full-bodied, warm sounds. Musicians that contributed include a.o. Dalton Browne, Christopher Meredith, "Skully" Simms, Dean Fraser, Donald "Danny" Dennis, Junior "Chico" Chinn and Danny Marshall.

From beginning to end Anthony Selassie treats the listener to songs with meaningful and uplifting lyrical content, sung in real fine style. In the spiritual first track, "Say A Prayer", he expresses that "JAH has a purpose for us all. Never let the wrong meditation lead you into temptation. Let us pray for I 'n I to stay on the path of righteousness and to keep doing the works that our Father has set before us". Next drops the title track "Rising Above", which inspires to "Let us rise to the occasion where love commands a higher meditation. Let us be true to ourselves, uplift our consciousness and live together with united minds and hearts". More consciousness shines through in the combination with Tony Rebel entitled "Only Love"... "Love for one another is what can bring us a better tomorrow. JAH shows the way by loving us. We, in turn, learn to show love for each other by forgiving and accepting one another, and by opening our hearts". "That's My Joy", coming across a relick of Leroy Sibbles' "Rock And Come On", is another good tune, which is followed by the solid, smoothly sung "Danger Zone". All in all these tracks form a great opener of this album.

Then is time to listen to the middle part of the album, which starts with "What A Whoe". The latter comes on a real nice mid-tempo riddim and is also worth of hearing, while the Ska driven "Reggae Nice Again" turns out to be a rather mediocre tune with a strong feelgood vibe. Luckily it's followed by the great "Jah Love", that is underpinned by a wicked relick of Glen Brown's "Green Bay" riddim, the decent "Point Of No Return", and the powerful "Grown Mi Natty Congo". Even though three out of five songs are good this part drags a little.

The last segment kicks off with "Never Worry", which is underpinned by a nyabinghi flavoured, almost acoustic backdrop. Again a familiar riddim is used for the solid "Source Of My Life", in which Anthony Selassie -- not for the first time -- expresses his trust in Jah. The matching "Mountains High" is a joyful sounding tune, and almost the same can be said of the rockin' and groovin' "Jah Is My Help". It's followed by the album closer "Spiritual Loving", an appropiate way to end the last part of this collection and the album as a whole.

Overall opinion is that "Rising Above" is a solid album, on which Anthony Selassie fully showcases his beautiful, rounded tones that truly touch the heart and soul.