Special Attention
Charm-Jet Star
March 27, 2002

Track list
  1. Special Attention
  2. She's Mine
  3. Not Gonna Worry
  4. Island Woman
  5. Bluer Than Blues
  6. Sad Love Song
  7. So Said So Done
  8. Backstabbers
  9. History
  10. New Sheriff In Town
  11. Agony
  12. Have Some Faith
  13. Against All Odds feat. Dee Ellington
  14. Come Together
  15. Tribute To Sam
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Reggae artists like George Nooks, Glen Washington and Ambelique are living proof of how experienced singers with feel, good technique and the instinct for a hit song can revitalise their careers. Raised in the Waltham Park area of Kingston, the former Owen Silvera recorded briefly as a teenager for Derrick Harriott in the late sixties, writing hits for Tinga Stewart and providing spoof intros as Ramone the Mexican before heading for the US, where he spent nearly two decades perfecting his craft in a series of touring bands most notably Hugh Hendricks & The Buccaneers, where he shared a mic with future Third World singer Bunny Rugs. Disillusioned with his own lack of success, Ambelique almost quit music altogether before returning to Jamaica in 1994 and hooking up with Sly & Robbie, who catapulted him to the reggae world's attention with a succession of easy-listening, but beautifully conceived pop/dancehall/Latin hits, including the bestselling cover "Quando Quando" and two songs from their Grammy-winning "Friends" album. A series of fine singles followed, which put him further on the music map as a sweet soulful singer who mainly poises on the edge of lovers rock and rhythm & blues. That he's also fully capable of delivering a notable reality tune has been proven with the awesome, Bulby "York" & Fatta "Marshall" produced "Soldier On The Front Line".

Now here's Ambelique's sparkling new album "Special Attention", the follow-up to the Blackbeard Sinclair produced set "Love's Got A Hold On Me". Recorded for Jet Star at their own London based Cave studio, and produced by Danny Ray with help from engineer Fitzroy "Wizard" Blake, one is treated to a wonderful vocal reggae album. This set features already well known and much anticipated tunes like for example "New Sheriff In Town", "Bluer Than Blues", "Come Together", "Agony" and the more recent "Backstabbers" alongside previously unreleased material. Most of the 16 tracks - ranging from lovers rock to reality tunes and including fresh originals as well as covers - are solid to excellent efforts. Standouts are "Bluer Than Blues", "So Said So Done", "Backstabbers", "Agony", "Come Together" and the awesome "History", delivered across a wicked version of the "Declaration Of Rights" riddim. But also the title track "Special Attention", "Island Woman", "You're The Star" and his tribute to early soul mentor Sam Cooke entitled "Tribute To Sam" are worthy of attention.

Besides Ambeligue immediately capturing the listener with his beautiful vocal delivery it are the crisp and clear musical backdrops provided by such fine and well respected musicians as Mafia & Fluxy, Computer Paul, Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, Clifton "Bigga" Morrison, Tony Phillips and Dalton Browne that will appeal to fans of good music. Add the fact that the production quality is first rate, and it's obvious that "Special Attention" will take Ambelique's career to the next level.