Album review
Surround Me With Love
Humal Records
17 - 11 - 2000

Tracking list

  1. Be Ready
  2. My Guide
  3. Your Smile
  4. Could This Be Real ?
  5. It's Not Enough
  6. Little Wait
  7. Hurting
  8. Girl Of Mine
  9. True Friends
  10. Call On Me
  11. Christopher Columbus
  12. Fire
  13. God Almighty
  14. Oh Jah
  15. Surround Me With Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Skibu comes from Birmingham, UK, where he recorded his first single, The One I Adore as part of Birmingham's Silicon Squad in the late eighties. He joined the Kokuma Theatre Company and stayed with them for 9 years performing and teaching as a dancer and musician. During those years he learned to play a variety of instruments. After touring Europe Skibu returned to Birmingham where he was introduced to Humal Records and he recorded the single Your Smile, a tribute to his late mother. Last year he released his debut set 'Surround Me With Love' on Humal Records. The record label is the brainchild of 'The African', who came to the UK in 1977. He played percussion with a jazz/funk band before taking up the drums. With his 24-track studio he has the dream of "creating a UK version of Motown Records". The label's first release was Peter Spence's version of the Elton John classic 'Candle In The Wind'.
The album opens with Be Ready, a strong tune across the riddim of The Paragons' rocksteady hit 'Only A Smile', followed by the praising tune My Guide. Your Smile is a tribute to Skibu's late mother. The excellent reality tune Could This Be Real reveals Skibu's thoughts on what is happening in the world of today. On It's Not Enough Skibu tells us to do the best for ourselves and that saying 'we believe' isn't enough. Girl Of Mine and Hurting are two fine lovers tunes, proof to Skibu's ability to create a smooth lovers rock song. The theme of 'friendship' can be found on True Friends, a swinging tune in the typical UK reggae tradition. The next tune, Call On Me, is across Bob Marley's 'Thank You Lord' riddim and is one of our favorite tunes on the album. Christopher Columbus is a wicked remake of the Burning Spear original. Oh Jah is a killer tune with influences of African music. The album closes with a moving ballad, the title track Surround Me With Love. Skibu's debut album 'Surround Me With Love" is filled with some strong roots tunes and an occasional lovers rock tune. The production of Ryan Weir, Errol Francis and Errol Ruddock is distinctive, solid and sophisticated and combined with Skibu's deeply held conviction that music should uplift and educate us, the result is a high quality debut set one rarely encounters in reggae music.

Teacher & Mr. T.