Welcome To Belgium ~ A Dancehall Thing
A Thomas
Free Download CD
October 3, 2010

Track list
  1. Feeling Good
  2. This Is What You Came For
  3. Warning
  4. Soundbwoy
  5. Waan Some
  6. Belgium
  7. We Are Moving
  8. Guide Over Me
  9. Love You More
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Belgium is known for its lively reggae scene, but compared to their neighbours from the Netherlands, who in recent years saw artists such as Ziggi (Recado), Maikal X, Joggo and Smiley establishing their names beyond a local level with well received albums and singles, not that many Belgian artists have managed to become widely known. Omar Perry and Original Uman are the ones that instantly come to mind, but apart from Panache Culture we can't think of anyone else. Pura Vida, who recently released their album "Struggle In The City", could reach a wider audience in the near future and perhaps also A Thomas, although it looks like he has to work real hard to achieve that goal. In contrast with Pura Vida he delivers the kind of musical efforts that don't differ much from contemporaries in countries like Germany, France, the Netherlands and even Jamaica.

It's obvious that A Thomas (formerly known as Treaty), who worked with Belgian bands like Calabash, ASAP en Sunscape, tries to showcase his versatility as this album features a variety of riddims including one-drop modern roots, hardcore dancehall, and vintage sounds. A Thomas possesses a powerful, mature voice, and although his lyrics are far from original -- in particular when he rides the infectious Jamaica produced dancehall riddims -- certain songs such as our personal favourites "Soundbwoy" and "Belgium" are worth hearing. Things get started in real fine style with "Feeling Good" over Irievibrations Records' awesome "Hit Drop" riddim from 2008, before "This Is What You Came For" and "Warning" drop to create a strong dancehall vibe. "Soundbwoy" on African Beat's "Cherry Pie" (aka "Cherry Oh Baby") riddim is simply great to hear. Next up is the decent "Waan Some" over one of Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor hit riddims. And then the solid "Guide Over Me" comes across the Romain "Sherkhan" Chiffre produced "Sufferah" riddim. The album closer, "Love You More", has a nice riddim track, but unfortunately it's vocally and lyrically one of the weakest tunes on this album.

All in all a nice album, but time will tell whether it will propel Thomas' career as a reggae/dancehall artist. You can download the album for free here.