A Small Town Boy Story
New Sound Records/ MacLes Music Factury
April 1, 2014
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Although Clive Burrell aka Timmi Burrell only recently started to gain attention from international reggae followers due to the release of the digital single "Small Town Boy" in 2012 and then his contribution to the "Puff Puff" riddim called "Smoke & Pass", he's certainly no newcomer. Influenced by artists such as Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Sanchez and R Kelly, this Jamaican vocalist, who was born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, was already performing on events in Negril such as Negril Salute and Reggae by the Sea, before he recorded his first officially released 7" single "Tear It Off" on Ralston Barrett's B.I.G label. This effort was followed by other singles such as "Up And Down" and "Children Crying", again produced by Ralston Barrett. He continued to record songs, some of them still unreleased, and even had enough tracks to release a full album. However this didn't happen, and he even withdrew from the music scene for some time. When he returned in the reggae arena he had made a few changes, including a name change (the name Lemon is now a thing of the past).
Timmi Burrell's "A Small Town Boy Story" treats the listener to songs full of consciousness as well as Lovers tunes, in quality ranging from solid to excellent. The album opener, "Rude Boy" immediately demands your full attention and it doesn't stop there as the next tune in combination with Mojo Herb, "They Wanna Murder We", also keeps you involved till the very end. And thus this album takes off in a truly great way. Then Timmy Burrell brings us smartly into lovers territory with the decent "Girl", which is outmatched by "Fools Game". The latter is a beautiful rendition of a song from The Regulars, which came out in 1979. Also wonderful to hear is "Lazy Bug", a tune with a positive message which goes straight to the head of those who kill and rob.
And again there's a "Mama" piece from a Jamaican artist featured here. Not overly fond of these kinda tunes, but in this case it's the riddim, including a great trombone part, that makes it worth hearing. And although the contemplative "Life Is For Living" has a completely different vibe, it's a clever and rightful choice to place it halfway this album. Back to love again with "True Love", a real nice tune with a lovely organ sound. "Small Town Boy" with its scintillating horn section speaks to the everyday struggles faced by people from poorer backgrounds but reassures us in the chorus that “Jah is a Friend when I’m in need, Jah is always there for me”. And even though we've heard this tune over and over again since it came out as a single, it's still a joy to give it another spin. Big tune!!! The slower paced "Ain't Perfect" is the kinda song that has to grow on you before it gets your full appreciation. "Haters Spying" immediately propels you onto the dance floor and then keeps you there with the ganja song "Smoke & Pass".
Timmi Burrell's "A Small Town Boy" is a mature project, well produced and fresh sounding. This collection of tunes is extremely pleasing to the ear and thus it's recommended to check it. Ignore at your peril!!!