Soothing Sounds: Acoustic
Richie Spice
Tad's Records
CD / Digital Release
October 28, 2012

Soothing Sounds (Acoustic Version) - Richie Spice Track list
  1. Tru Love
  2. Free
  3. My Heart
  4. Searching
  5. System
  6. Crying
  7. Heng On In Deh
  8. Get Up
  9. My Girl
  10. All Night
  11. More Love feat. Snatcha Lion & Spanner Banner
  12. Wandering Sheep
  13. Jah Provide
  14. Downside Up
  15. Agony
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Essential -Votes: 2-
Very Good -Votes: 6-
Good -Votes: 4-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 5-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 17
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Hot on the heels of the recently released "Mecoustic" by Tarrus Riley, it's conscious reggae singer/songwriter Richie Spice who also treats his fans to an almost complete acoustic and unplugged set. The only track that doesn't go with this concept is the superfluous disco song "Agony", originally done by Michael Jackson. A real mystery why this track is included on this collection.

Considered one of the most prolific voices and profound lyricists in contemporary roots reggae, Richie Spice spiraled to international fame over a decade ago and since then has delivered five well received and critically acclaimed studio albums, even reaching the very top spot on Billboard's Reggae Albums Chart in 2008. His blockbuster hit "Youths Dem Cold" peaked at 59 on Billboard's Top 100 Singles Chart, was featured in "Grand Theft Auto IV" and as the coveted closing track on the feature film, "Attack The Block". His catalog of other chart-toppers include "Earth A Run Red", "Groovin' My Girl", "Marijuana", "Brown Skin" and "The Plane Land", all of which have amassed massive airplay internationally, solidifying Richie Spice as a revered voice in reggae music and catapulting him to the very forefront of the genre.

"Soothing Sounds: Acoustic" (wonder whether this is a reference to his single "Soothing Sound" on Juke Boxx Productions' "Secret" riddim) was completely produced by Richie Spice himself, who also enlisted some of reggae's biggest hit makers on this project, including Mitchum "Khan" Chin who co-produced the album, and multi-talented musician/producer Stephen "Lenky" Marsden. From the album opener "Tru Love" up to the last acoustic track "Downside Up", the listener is offered an eclectic mix of musical elements, fusing classic reggae vibes with modern day acoustic rock, Spanish guitar, jazz and African drum beats. Most surprising, but also remarkable, is the use of the banjo in "All Night" and the didgeridoo in "Searching".

Besides acoustic reworkings of well known Richie Spice tunes such as "A No Me Dat", "Boom", "Youths Dem Cold", "Rise", "Groovin' My Girl", "All Day, All Night", and "Spinning Around", re-titled "Tru Love", "My Heart", "Searching", "Get Up", "My Girl", and "All Night", "Downside Up" respectively, this album also features some new material. The latter includes the solid "Hang On In Deh" and the wonderful sufferers lament "Crying", actually the second single taken from this album ("Free" being the first). Tunes like "Tru Love", "Free", "Searching", "Get Up" and "Wandering Sheep" make a very good impression, but we have to point out that in particular "Jah Provide" gave us goosebumps. Big tune!

An acoustic song often makes it easier for the listener to relate to and overstand its lyrics, which is a good thing when an artist has something to say. And that's exactly what makes this Richie Spice album worthwhile hearing.