Natural Black - Naturally Black - Rads
Another great set from this very militant youth from Guyana. He's worked with some of the best producers in Jamaica - now its the turn of Rads. Who's been around for a very long time on the London scene. He's provided Mr Black with some great rhythms - more or less the current crop of of new roots rhythms from Jamaica over the last couple of years. And Natural does not waste them. Every single tune is given a good song. Even the love songs are not the usual lyrics - more like little stories - and when it comes to songs of culture and reality - the man fires up in fine style. With singer/songwriters like him and Chezidek and Ras Shiloh, Not forgetting Jah Cure - the future of roots reggae seems to be in good hands.
Natural Black - Love Gonna Conquer Evil - Cousins
Natural Black - Jah Guide - Greensleeves
This the third great album from Natural Black in just over a year puts that man firmly at the forefront of reggae music singer/songwriters. This one produced by King Jammys as got the power of the last three, plus some of Jammys best rhythms from the pre-digital era. The High Times rhythms sounded great then, and they sound even better today. Then it was the time of the Half Pint who made these rhythms into his own. Now some 23 years later. Its the time of Natural Black. Jammy doesn't pull these rhythms out for anyone, and Natural Black does full justice. Great lyrics, with a wide range of themes, cultural, reality, love. Making great reggae albums are not an easy task, but if you stick to the basic rules - you should be able to do it. Making sure you don't go beyond the 14 or 15 tracks that you find here is the first rule. 20 track albums are a bit over the top, and often end up being filled out. This is tough is excellent, and all credit to Greensleeves for releasing it as well.
Natural Black - Cool Nuh Black - Vizion
The second great album from Natural Black within a year, and most welcome it is too. Its going to be singer/songwriters like him who turn the current problems in reggae music around. There are so many singers in the frame at the moment, all with one or two great sets - but that little spark thats makes them special seems to come and go. It could be that 15 tracks per album, per year is asking too much. Its seems like a lot to me. The real solution is perhaps with companies like Vizion, who seem to be putting together teams of artists - which takes the pressure off. Although even that approach can cause problems with the artists coming in second behind the label everytime. In the meantime this set contains a great selection of songs, lyrics and some great rhythms.
Natural Black - Far From Reality - Greensleeves - CD
Last year debut album after album came from new artists. Greensleeves released one of the best one in the form of Fantan Mojah. This year the crop as not been as good but Greensleeves have released two classic sets. Norrisman and now this excellent set from Natural Black. These are the kind of albums that Greensleeves built its reputation on. And Greensleeves should be given full credit for doing this in what is now a oldies dominated market. It would be very easy for them to go back and reissue albums of that type - but where would that leave artists like Norrisman or Natural Black? Or come to that the vast army of new artists!!! This set produced by Marlon McCubbin is outstanding. Natural, as got a good voice, in places its sounds almost gospel - Toots style!!! His songwriting is very good with a wide range of themes covered in a very thoughtful style. All the tracks are magnificent, but one track 'Can't Mix Intelligence' is something really special. Its got that kind of radio friendly sort of sound, but its still roots. A great tune!