Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ali Campbell 'Flying High' Review

Let me start by being honest. In my nearly 30 years of listening to and living Reggae Music I can honestly say I have never been a fan of UB40. Sure, there have been a few songs throughout the years that I've liked. "Hip Hop Lyrical Robot" and "Bring Me Your Cup" come to mind. But for the most part I've always felt very apathetic about them while never questioning their talent or love for the music. I've always felt there were artists whose music deserved all of the same accolades and then some. That being said, "Flying High" is a solid effort from the former UB40 frontman. It's a break from the radio friendly covers that fans have come to expect and a move towards a more contemporary Jamaican sound. How so? Look no further than the first track. Ali teams with Germaican sensation Gentleman on "Nothing Ever Changes". One of the most succesful reggae artists as far as chart success but one who has always remained true to the music, namely, Shaggy turns up on "She's a Lady". Nice track. Ali gives a worthy effort on John Holt's classic "My Heart is Gone" and another jamaican classic "What You Gonna do Bout It" featuring the inimitable Lady Saw.
"Out From Under" is a beautiful ballad . The contemporary jamaican flavor comes to the fore again as Mr. Campbell does a very Jah Cure-esque vocal style with lyrics that I could hear Jah Cure singing, but never writing. During "Visions" all that kept coming to mind was Terry Linen's cover of 'Your love is my love and my love is your love . It will take an eternity to break us. It will take all the stars just to hold us'...Sorry! I got off track for a second. The riddim and melody is that similar. In short, this album is probably still not going to convince reggae die-hards. There are some solid tracks. And, I must admit, as I listened more and more some tunes really grew on me but not enough to tell you this is a 'MUST HAVE' for your collection.There's no tune you'll have to skip but there's also none you'll want to play over and over .

Track Listing:

1. Nothing Ever Changes featuring Gentleman
2. Out From Under
3. Everways
4. She's a Lady featuring Shaggy
5. That's Supposed to Hurt
6. What You Gonna Do 'bout It featuring Lady Saw
7. Visions
8. My Heart Is Gone
9. Don't Shoot the Messenger
10. It's a Crime
11. Flying High
12. My Happiness