Album review
Serious Times
VP Records-Walboomers Music
June 18, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Give Praise
  2. Come Down Father
  3. The World Is Troubled
  4. Stay Away
  5. Just Talk To God
  6. Satisfy Your Self
  7. Love Will Make It feat. Morgan Heritage
  8. Echoes Of My Mind
  9. Free Up The Weed
  10. Alpha & Omega
  11. Serious Times Serious Measures
  12. No Where To Go To
  13. We Need A Miracle
  14. This Feeling
  15. Jah Is My Keeper
  16. The Ras She Want
  17. Only Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5

Jepther McClymont aka Luciano, a major figure in the development of modern roots in the 1990s and still one of reggae's most prominent voices, returns with the brand new album "Serious Times". The inspiring voice of Luciano has given us many musical memories from "Itís Me Again Jah" to "Sweep Over My Soul" and "Serve Jah". Just like he did for the 2001 released cd "A New Day" he again teams up with Dean Fraser, his musical director during his Xterminator" days. Dean Fraser, known for the smoothness he often brings into his production work, handles most of the production on this album, which implies that the listener is treated to great horn arrangements, modern keyboard sounds and lush vocal harmonies. Further production credits go to Bobby Digital (3 tracks), King Jammy (1 track) and German based producers Pierre Baigorry and Pionear (1 track). Players of instruments who have been involved in the making of this album are Sly Dunbar, Robbie Lyn, Glen Browne, Dalton Browne, Mikey Ching, Gibby Morrison, Michael Fletcher, Mark Darson, along with Dean Fraser, Nambo, Junior Chin and Dwight Richards on horns.
With "Serious Times" Luciano addresses contemporary issues through mainly a musical backdrop of acoustic instrumentation. Embracing both contemporary and traditional one-drop reggae riddims, the Messenjah extols his message of healing and love. As ever the mood here is largely meditative and righteous. "Serious Times" is a very good collection of tunes, featuring some of Luciano's best work to date, including the powerful album opener "Give Praise", a sweet hymn to H.I.M. with wicked horns arrangements, "Stay Away", a great cut over the "Doctor's Darling" riddim that includes a sample of George W. Bush saying "this is the guy who tried to kill my dad," refering of course to Saddam Hussein, the wonderful "Satisfy Your Self", the deep spiritual roots tune "Alpha & Omega" with its awesome bassline, and the title track "Serious Times, Serious Measures", which is reminiscent of a classic Luciano tune entitled "Final Call". There are a few other tracks on this album that are also worthwhile of hearing such as "Come Down Father", a sweet cover version of a Jose Feliciano tune, the excellent rendition of Dennis Brown's "The World Is Troubled", "This Feeling", "Free Up The Weed", and "Jah Is My Keeper", excerpts of Psalms/The Lord's Prayer over a nice one-drop riddim.
No weak tune around, even "Echoes Of My Mind" - cover version of Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talking" (theme song from Midnight Cowboy) - is a decent track and works better than you would think it would. Highly recommended!!

Teacher & Mr. T.