Luciano - Write My Name - Footprintz
Its been a long time since Luci made an album sounding as fresh as this. Produced by the Footprintz team in Georgia, it also includes a DVD. Its going to take a long long time for reggae music to find its place in the musical world that as emerged in the last few years. But quality sets like this, will slowly make a difference. You are not getting anything new here, but that is not needed anyway. Good songs, good singing and good production is the way forward. And this as got that on every track, of its 16 tracks.
Luciano - God Is Greater Than Man - Cousins
Luciano for so long maintained the roots tradtion in very difficult times. Recent works from him, have also showed that he's still got a lot more to offer. But I do have my doubts on the wisdom of this set, great songs and great vocals, but why was it necessary to go and pull out a load of old rhythms? And unlike sets by people like the Blackstones where all the old rhythms come from one source, it might be two. This set as got rhythms from all over. Thankfully it still works, but its all still very puzzling.
Luciano - Revelation Time - Jet Star
Over the years Luciano as gone from roots hero to something else. Part of that something else - was the lack of other vocalists around while he was coming through. His natural brother in arms Garnett Silk, passed. And that made Luciano look very isolated - the kind of attention he got is what some artists crave for, this did not seem to suit Luciano, and after the debacle of Island Records - he was drawn into the strange marketing ideas of VP. Away from those two companies, some interesting sets have emerged. This one from Jet Star is about the third for the company and is this produced in the main is produced by Triston Palmer - in a executive producer stylee!!!! And he's done a great job - drawing on rhythms that go back to the late eighties - he's somewhere created something that sounds fresh. A lot of that is down to the great songs of Luciano - and he's in great vocal form as well.
Luciano - Gideon - Vizion Sounds.
Having worked with the likes of Gregory and Big Youth, plus upcoming talent like King Prof and Andrew Bees -Wally F 'snext project is Luciano. And here it is. 'Gideon' is another fine set from him - but its not the album that will take him back to the glory days of 'Where There Is Life' . Only a brand new sound will do that. Luciano still can sing and write great songs but he needs to be inspired by the rhythms. All the greats suffer from this problem, Gregory was twiced inspired, the stuff with the Radics in the early eighties, and his late eighties album with King Tubby, Dennis Brown came up with two inspired album for the same producer King Jammys. 'Slow Down' and 'Exit'. It can be done. But it needs a lot of confidence and a certain amount of courage.
Luciano - Serious Times - VP
Luci's been pretty consistent of late - he's basically gone back to the style that brought him fame in the first place. The production on this set from Joel Chin & Dean Fraser sticks to the tried and tested, in terms of lyrics and production. When it does move outside cultural and roots themes - it goes for things like 'Echoes Of My Mind' - which kinda works. But with singer/songwriters like Luci's you would be better going for some of reggae's great songs and putting bands like The Wailers or The Radics or High Times behind him, just to change things up a bit. Bring in the Skatalites and record him in a Ska style!!! You have over 40 years of musical history and a great singer/songwriter to work with!!
Luciano - Tell It From The Heart - AL.TA FA.AN
His last album produced by Big Jack at Black Scorpio studios was a serious return to form for the man. It wasn't anything new, but that wasn't needed anyway. It just needed to be a good album with a different sound. This is more of the same, a collection of great songs with some production coming from Brotherman in the Gran Canaries.While most of the production was done in Jamaica with Al Ta Fa An team, which includes Solgie. The overall sound is lighter but its still roots reggae. 'Ends Of Never', 'Babylon Go Down' and 'Bombs' work very well. A constant theme in the album is the use of 'Wah Wah' guitar, good to see that sound back. Its little touches like that can really make a set.
Luciano - Visions - Jet Star
A different sound again! Produced in London at the Stingray studio. With a nice selection of love songs done in a traditonal lovers rock style. Most of the tracks are roots reggae - and the Stringray is a getting a good roots sound, best heard on the title track 'Visions' and 'Gideon War'. Like the 'Tell It From The Heart' album its also another 13 track set. With major artists like Luciano releasing 13 track CDs, perhaps the worse excess of releasing 18 tracks plus are over. This set represents Luciano reconnecting back to his roots audience - all that is needed now is for an album like this to be well promoted. With two album out of once it will be interesting to see what happens.
Luciano - Serve Jah - VP
Black Scorpio studiios have been around for a good while now - without making that big an impact - and yet they have put out good album from the likes of Mikey Melody and General Trees and now Luciano. In fact this is a very very good set from Luchy. Big Jack taken him back to his roots with a good selection of old rhythms - but with some artists that can be bad, with Luciano it seems inspired. Better to have a good recut rhythm - than a new rhythm that don't work - Horses for courses - Do you like that Big Jack? !!!
Luciano - New Day - VP
Produced by Dean Fraser this one sounds like a Luciano LP, and in a strange kind of way - that could be a problem. This sound is now about 5 years old possibly 6, no matter how good it is, how good the songs are - you can't escape the fact that it sounds very very familiar. Its still a great album. Luciano is still at the very front of reggae of reggae music all he needs now is a gentle nudge in a new musical direction -Reggaewise - and he will continue to remain at the very front of the music.
Luciano - Jet Star.
Jet Star's studio still hasn't got a sound, but with so many studios operating in reggae now all over the world, it wasn't going to be easy to come up with a very distinctive sound that quickly. All they can do is go and find the best talent in the music and see what happens. Well getting Luciano into the studio is a very good move. This album is very enjoyable Luciano sounds relaxed - and the rhythms are well forward.Perhaps the next time the man is passing through - Jet Star will have something that makes them stand out.