The Right Road
February 29, 2004
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
The musical career of Glenroy Washington, singer, songwriter and drummer, personifies the cliché; ”The race is not for the swift, but for those who can endure.” The triumph of Glen Washington’s endurance has been 25 years in the making.
Like most successful artists, Washington evolved from humble beginnings. Born in the parish of Clarendon, Jamaica he is currently one of the most in demand artist in reggae music. This has come after many years of recording and waiting in the wings. In 1997, he released his debut album "Brother To Brother" for Coxsone Dodd's "Studio One" imprint and, to date, has released some 12 albums and about 50 singles. "The Right Road" is the latest cd from the singer whose smooth, raspy, bass voice has often been likened to that of Beres Hammond. We're pretty sure that if you close your eyes and listen, it may be tough to discern between these two vocalists. The material featured here is, as usual, a fine selection of Roots and Lovers material all of it written by Glen himself. As ever his vocal delivery is heartfelt and yearning and riddimwize you will notice a nice and entertaining mixture of original riddims and do-overs of several classic reggae/rocksteady arrangements, the latter a readily accepted practice in reggae. The riddims, all suitable to Washington's assured style, are played by a topflight assortment of musicians, including Sly & Robbie, Jazzwad, Mafia & Fluxy, Computer Paul and members of the Ruff Cutt and Ras Ites' bands. Furthermore the listener is treated to lovely backing vocals by Bev Brown, Don Campbell, Sharon White and Winston "Mr. Fix It" Francis. Tunes that instantly catch the ear are wonderful love songs such as the solid album opener "In Love Again", the moving "So Full Of Life", "Secret Lover" and the "I’m Still Waiting" cut "Love Keeps Calling". But there's more niceness around as you will also find notable message tunes like e.g. the former single "Go Tell It", "Pure Lies" and "How Can You" (voiced on cuts of Burning Spear’s "Marcus Garvey" and "Slavery Days" respectively), "So Dem Bad" and the wicked title track "The Right Road", which is underpinned by the same riddim used for the Ras Ites' "Picture On The Wall".