That's Life
Anthony B.
VP Records-Walboomers Music
June 30, 2001

Track list
  1. Good Life
  2. Dutty Heart
  3. Fire Pon Di Government
  4. Equal Rights
  5. Dust 'Em Out
  6. Fire Dance
  7. Man Got To Do
  8. That's Life
  9. Black Coffee
  10. All God's Children
  11. Love Or Infatuation
  12. Wave Off The Cross
  13. Rally Round
  14. Mad Dem
  15. Lock The Guns Dem
  16. I Will Never Bow Down
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
"That's Life" is the title of a brand new collection from the Bobo chanter, who caused a stir in 1996 with his impressive debut set "Real Revolutionary" aka "So Many Things". In the years that followed Anthony B carved out a unique place for himself in reggae music and continued to deliver solid modern roots albums. This fourth album for VP Records features sixteen tracks from producers like Beres Hammond, Buggy Record, Sly & Robbie, Bobby Konders, Bulby & Fatta, Rohan Dwyer & Shane Brown, Ruff Cutt, Morgan Heritage, Builders, and Anthony B himself. Gathering the recordings Anthony B did for so many different producers indicates a well varied album, and indeed it is.

Unlike his previous albums - which mainly featured material that was produced by Star Trail's Richard "Bello" Bell - Anthony B now delivers an effort that displays a wider range of styles. One is treated to the modern roots reggae of "Fire Pon Di Government", the old school r&b-flavoured sound of "Fire Dance", the hip-hop related grooves of the title track "That's Life" and the dancehall backdrop of Massive B's "Dun Dem" riddim for "Dust 'em Out". However, lyrically Anthony B stays on the track as he continues to deal with subjects of major import in Jamaica: religion, pride, violence, poverty, love and life.

Although obviously a matter of taste and personal preference, it's Anthony B performing over the roots-oriented backdrops that leaves behind the best impression. Songs like "Dutty Heart", "All God's Children", "Man Got To Do", "Love Or Infatuation", "Rally Round" and "Fire Pon Di Government" (incorporating one of his most seething verses: "Jah Jah mek Guillani catch cancer") are prime examples of the kind of vocal and lyrical deliveries that brought Anthony B to the forefont of reggae music. All are solid to excellent efforts, enjoyable to listen to and well worth spinning over and over again. Besides these tracks Anthony B impresses in the Beres Hammond produced "Good Life", a strong album opener expertly delivered over an uplifting riddim. With his cover of Peter Tosh's "Equal Rights" Anthony B pays tribute to his hero in fine style. A surprisingly strong effort can be captured while playing the Bobby Konders produced "Dust 'em Out", showing that he's also able to handle a dancehall riddim to full effect. The mellow "I Will Never Bow Down" - reminiscent of "Cold Feet" from his debut set - is a worthy closer of the album.

Even though "That's Life" features a few weak efforts it contains nuff good tunes and positive vibes to make it worthwhile checking out!