Words Of Wisdom
Vernon Maytone
Not Easy At All Productions / Music Life Movements
August 7, 2011

Words Of Wisdom - Vernon Maytone Track list
  1. Going Home
  2. More Love
  3. Heavy Load
  4. Life Is For Living
  5. Show Us The Way
  6. What About Me
  7. Satan
  8. On Jah Mission feat. Linval Thompson
  9. Hold On feat. Dillan Buckley
  10. I Believe
  11. War
  12. Motherless Children
  13. Hooligans
  14. Never Get Away
  15. God Is Real feat. U-Roy
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Total votes : 10
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Vernon Buckley aka Vernon Maytone belongs to the generation of artists that dominated the golden era of reggae music in the 1970s. Together with his neighbour Gladstone Grant he formed a legendary duo called The Maytones in 1968. Throughout the 1970s the duo recorded gem after gem including timeless classics such as "Madness", "Africa We Want To Go", and "Money Worries". After Vernon Maytone had moved to Canada in the early 1980s, the reggae massive was only occassionally treated to new releases, mostly being solo projects from Vernon Maytone.

With his latest solo album entitled "Words Of Wisdom", the veteran singer finally delivers a collection of tunes that matches the acclaimed material from the heydays of The Maytones. For this brand new project Vernon Maytone has again teamed with Manu Genius and Marc Baronner of Not Easy At All Productions from Amsterdam, Holland, with whom he worked before for the 2010 released "Foundation Compilation ~ Reggae Series Volume One". The latter featured two tracks by Vernon Maytone, "This Must Be Judgement" (aka "War") and the combination with U-Roy called "God Is Real", both also appearing on this album. These songs already showed that this collaboration works very well and this 15-track album is further proof.

The rural roots of Vernon Maytone is evident in his singing style, and here it's beautifully showcased on the riddims provided by Not Easy At All Productions. As already witnessed on previous album releases from Chezidek, Apple Gabriel and Earl Sixteen, Manu Genius and Marc Baronner -- together with musicians such as Marcus Hillman, Lode Busch and Hans van Scharen -- expertly build original riddims that carry an authentic roots reggae vibe reminiscent of the classic recordings from the late 70s/early 80s. Furthermore this set includes two riddims laid by Fyah Beat & The Music Life Movements Crew ("Show Us The Way" & "What About Me").

The first track, "Going Home", instantly grabs your attention. Done 'inna 12inch stylee', this is a killer roots tune coming across a powerful riddim with great horns and Vernon Maytone vocally and lyrically in real good shape. As the album title already indicates, this worthy opener fully makes clear that the songs featured here deal with the essence of reggae music... consciousness. Of course, not every track included on "Words Of Wisdom" can be qualified as a 'standout', but Vernon Mayton and the Not Easy At All crew have created a high standard album devoid of filler. Besides the already mentioned "Going Home", this set contains quite a few excellent tunes including "Heavy Load", "Life Is For Living", "Satan", "I Believe" ("Anybody" riddim), "Never Get Away" ("Collie Weed" riddim) and "On Jah Mission", a wicked combination piece with Linval Thompson. However don't overlook songs like for example "More Love", "Hooligans", "God Is Real", and the do-over of the 1979 released "Show Us The Way", as they are also worthwhile efforts.

"Words Of Wisdom" is one of the most consistent solo albums Vernon Maytone has released since he relocated to Canada. Ignore at your peril!