Leroy Brown & Friends
Dakarai Music International
September 17, 2006

Track list
  1. Leroy Brown - Heartache
  2. Glen Washington - That Smile
  3. Nana McLean - Got To Move On
  4. Leroy Junior - I Believe In Music
  5. Belinda - Fall In Love
  6. Leroy Brown Rent A Tile
  7. Glen Washington - The Way U Hold Me
  8. Nana McLean -Nana's Medley
  9. Glen Washington - Feel So Nice
  10. Leroy Junior - Give Love Another Try
  11. Alton Ellis & Lorraine Scott - La La Means I Love You
  12. Audley Rollen Let's Stay Together
  13. Belinda - Find Strength
  14. Leroy Brown - I'll Be Lonely
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 2/3
Sometimes it takes quite some time before a record reaches other parts of the world (think Europe) as in case of the compilation album "Leroy Brown & Friends", two years ago released on Leroy Brown's own record label, Dakarai Music International, in Canada. But the wait was worthwhile because this is a very nice and throughout enjoyable collection of predominantly lovers oriented tunes brought by mainly experienced artists such as Leroy Brown himself, Glen Washington, Nana McLean, Audley Rollen and Alton Ellis as well as a new talent like Leroy Brown's son Leroy Junior. Four refurnished classic riddims -- laid by Sly & Robbie, Danny Browne, Tyrone Downey, Bernie Pitters, and Richard Howse -- form the core of this compilation. On "Heartache", the first riddim track, you get five cuts starting off with Leroy Brown's well done "Heartache", a cover version of Vic Taylor's stand out classic "My Heartaches" recorded for Duke Reid at Treasure Isle Studios in 1969, which is followed by Glen Washington's wonderful "That Smile", surely one of the highlights of this set. Nana McLean's "Got To Move On" is a matching cut on which she delivers a great vocal performance. Leroy Junior has a powerful voice and thus proves to be a true vocal talent, but unfortunately he chose to do a version of Mac Davis' "I Believe In Music", a lacklustre song and certainly not our cup of tea. Sweet voiced Kingston born Belinda (Brady) contributes the nice "Fall In Love", actually the last track on the "Heartache" riddim. Next up is the "Rental" riddim, originally a Studio One riddim known from The Gaylads' "Joy In The Morning". Leroy Brown's vocal and lyrical delivery shines bright on the JUNO-Award winning song "Rent A Tile", a truly outstanding lovers track. Also Glen Washington's "The Way You Hold Me" is a wicked piece on the riddim, performed in his well known style. "Nana's Medley" is a decent piece albeit not a real exciting one. Third riddim that drops is a reworked version of The Heptones' Studio One classic "Party Time". Again Glen Washington fully shows his talent when it comes to singing an appealing lovers tune. Leroy Junior's "Give Love Another Try" is a entertaining track that totally outmatches the previously mentioned "I Believe In Music". Reggae veteran Alton Ellis O.D. -- here in combination with Lorrainne Scott -- showcases his smooth yet passionate vocal style on his version of The Delfonics' "La La Means I Love You", a tune he recorded earlier for producer Duke Reid. Another sweet lovers rock tune comes from Audley Rollen, just like Leroy Brown a previous member of The Emotions and Hippie Boys. The last two tracks are on the riddim that underpinned John Holt's big hit for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One imprint, "I'll Be Lonely". Belinda's "Find Strength" is a nice cultural song, while Leroy Brown rounds off this set in fine style with his interpretation of the John Holt classic.