Spirits In The Material World ~ A Reggae Tribute To The Police
Various Artists
March 18, 2008

Inner Circle - Spirits In the Material World: A Reggae Tribute to the Police Track list
  1. Junior Reid - Synchronicity
  2. The Wailing Souls - One World
  3. Ali Campbell (of UB 40) - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
  4. Joan Osborne - Every Breathe You Take
  5. Toots & The Maytals - De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
  6. Horace Andy - Invisible Sun
  7. Lee Scratch Perry - Invisible Dub
  8. Inner Circle - Bed's Too Big Without You
  9. Pepper - Can't Stand Losing You
  10. Cyril Neville - Wrapped Around Your Finger
  11. Gregory Isaacs - So Lonely
  12. Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & The Uppressors With Ras Tree - Spirits In The Material World
  13. Tarrus Riley - King Of Pain
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3
The Police was one of the most popular rock/pop group of the 1980s with their stripped-down reggae-influenced sound. So the idea of a reggae tribute to the band is a thought blessed with a ruthless logic. Miami's Inner Circle formed the instrumental heart of this 13-track cd. "Spirits In The Material World" brings together a mix of legendary reggae and rock artists to create a stunning set of strong new reggae versions of Police songs, both signature hits and fan-favorite album tracks. The nice offer of true reggae greats, make this an appealing album.

Roots veteran Jr. Reid starts off this compilation, a fine remake of the Synchronicity song. Maybe even a better version than the original! The Wailing Souls do a nice cover of One World, while Ali Campbell (of UB40) turns the song Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic almost into an original UB40 tune. Excellent job! Joan Osborne (a rock artist) does a cross-over of the popular Every Breath You Take. Toots and the Maytals definitely deliver the best remake, even though the intro of the song lasts almost a minute. De Do Do Do De Da Da Da is really worth checking out. Horace Andy brings us Invisible Sun, but he has made a bit of a disappointing version of the song. Lee 'Scratch' Perry is responsible for the dub version of Invisible, which makes Horace Andy's voice come out better. It's one of the gems of the album. Inner Circle, the producers of the album also do a song Bed's Too Big Without You, which is not my cup of tea. Pepper has a high-energy punk/ska/reggae/rock combination on Can't Stand Losing You.

Cyril Neville does Wrapped Around Your Finger, a sweet remake with a great reggae influence. The Cool Ruler, Gregory Isaacs gives So Lonely his own unique twist, this gives the track a nice new jacket. Monk Boudreaux also revered as the "big chief", The Uppressors & Ras Tree create the heavy roots cd title track Spirits In The Material World. Tarrus Riley closes the album with King Of Pain, another gem.

All in all this project is somewhat disappointing due to the mix of several styles and some weak moments.