In The Mood
Vernon Maytone
Uniteam Music
LP / CD / Digital Release
April 30, 2016

Track list
  1. Moderation
  2. Have You Found Your Saviour
  3. You Natural
  4. Technology
  5. Death Is A Must
  6. One Love, One Heart
  7. Give Us Strength
  8. Good Place
  9. I'm In The Mood
  10. Justice
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Total votes : 5
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
It's a splendid thing to sight a Foundation statesman link with a firmly committed producer and keep the connection going for years with absolutely dynamic sounds. In the '70s, many artists stayed with the same producer for many an album and it's refreshing to see this true practice in fruition today. The artist is VERNON MAYTONE and the producer is MR .CHIN (UNITEAM MUSIC). Their initial connection resulted in the widely acclaimed "On The Right Track" (2013) and continued with last year's phenomenal EP "Life's A Journey" (with U.K Rootsman Paul Fox). The stamp of Royal excellence is front and centre with the just released "In The Mood". A project that certainly raises the caliber of Real Authentic Sounds...

"In The Mood" is the seventh release from the Bordeaux, France based label/production house/studio that's steadily becoming one of Europe's premier Roots Reggae outposts. In previous releases, Mr. Chin has assembled a collective of musicians that include Soul Syndicate veterans Fully Fullwood and Tony Chin, Colin Webster, Mighty Erbe, Mr. Chin himself and sax man Dean Fraser. Mr. Chin expertly handles all riddims on this engaging set; injecting fresh urgency to landmark riddims that have help define the course of Jamaican music history. Manu Genius is one of Reggae's top engineers; mixing and mastering sheer brilliance from his Dubshelter. His work on recent Brinsley Forde, Chezidek, Apple Gabriel, Benaissa and Addis Pablo albums is nothing short of amazing. He's been part of the Uniteam crew for years and brings forth his mastery once again. Mr .Chin pays close attention to all aspects and brought back legendary graphics master O'NEIL NANCO to grace front and back cover. This man's work goes back decades (including the massive Live & Learn label) and designed Vernon's first album with Uniteam. Vernon voiced the tracks at his Buckley's Studio (Canada); a musical hub where many a legend has passed through. "In The Mood" is produced by Mr. Chin and Vernon.

"Moderation" breaks the album open with massive appeal. For over fifty years, Mr. Vernon Buckley has delivered earnest messages to the core and this is no exception. Riding the "Jah Shakey aka Far East" riddim, he advises us to moderate ourselves in daily life that retains a sweet yet urgent potency. Crucial revisit of this Studio One riddim by Mr. Chin. Pure dynamite! "Have You Found Your Saviour" is one of Vernon's most heartical utterances to The Most High. Riding John Holt's "I'm Your Man" riddim, Vernon delivers with pure Heart and Soul. Mr. Chin relicks this Treasure Isle riddim so nice and Manu adds a crisp and taut touch. "You Natural" is a sweet Lovers track delivered in rub a dub style. Mr. Chin revisits "Lecturer" riddim and Vernon delivers with maximum versatility. Evokes memories of sounds heard on Vernon's classic "Natural Feeling" album. Strictly bubbling and springheel skanking atmosphere. "Technology" is the standout selection here! The "Joker Smoker" riddim is relicked with fresh potency and Vernon whole heartedly echoes the benefits of technology across the board. This is hook, line and sinker. He still uses his earthly vocalisms honed in May Pen, JA back in the 60's. Manu adds that distinctive Dubshelter touch that is so crisp. "Death Is A Must" is a serious track indeed! Riding the timeless "Cuss Cuss" riddim; Vernon sings, "Death is a must but it's hard when you lose a good friend". He graciously advises us to live rightfully and pays true homage to legends gone too soon. Mr. Chin has embraced music theory so well; he injects total refreshment to these timeless riddims and inflects subtle originality that goes hand in hand with global appeal. Mr. Buckley is a superb songwriter/arranger and delivers tuff tracks with true experience and intelligence.

"One Love, One Heart" brims with lyrics to riddim flow. Vernon delivers cool and deadly over the "Hot Milk" riddim in a singjay style and triumphantly implores the need for Unity across Creation. Volcano sounds realized inna Uniteam style - brilliant! "Give Us Strength" continues the excellence in true vibration. In pure Rootical style, we are treated to a fresh "Su Su" riddim that sights Vernon at his best. "In this mix up world, just like a blender". This legend has the ability to sing in such a powerful way that it sweetly permeates Heart and Soul with manners and respect. Words of wisdom right here. "Good Place" is such a skanking delight! The "Dancing Mood" riddim is up front and Vernon abounds to the heights. Soul power like a musical shower. Excellent musicianmanship from Mr. Chin with pure mastery from Manu Genius. This track will have Delroy Wilson skanking inna Mt. Zion. Rewind again and again! "I'm In The Mood" goes down the musical memory lane in pure style. Vernon delivers inna Dancehall style over a revisit of Delroy Wilson's "Can't Stand It". This singer is at ease in all styles and he totally mashes it up here. Boom! "Justice" is a beautiful closer! This showcases an original Mr. Chin riddim that's TOP RANKING. Vernon is serious about the lack of justice across Creation and offers thought provoking lyrics that truly resonate. Roots controller!

VERNON MAYTONE's "In The Mood" is a paramount achievement on all levels. Since his departure from The Maytones, Vernon has consistently delivered solo works of the Highest order. Certainly in the Top Three solo ventures that he's embarked on. He has the natural ability to offer original and unique perspectives on each album and he is flawless on "In The Mood". His link with Uniteam Music is a wise and natural connection and the undeniable cooperation of singer to engineer to producer is felt from start to finish. An album that beckons repeated listening and one can hope for future Vernon Maytone and Uniteam Music projects. Seek this classic; a true testament of what is Reggae Music at its finest. Highest recommendation. GO DEH!!