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Book of Life

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I Wayne 11/6/2007

Review

At a time when dancehall dominates the reggae charts and singers and deejays alike tend to favor a harsh and gruff vocal delivery, I Wayne harks back to the days of sweet-voiced tenors like Johnny Clarke and Cornel Campbell. His lyrical subject matter is similarly old-school, and he focuses on roots-and-culture concerns in a mostly upbeat and hopeful style. His second album features rhythms in a variety of styles, and finds him paired with a nice assortment of deejays -- most of them impressive (note in particular Icoflamez's excellent performance on the one-drop anthem "Annihilation") and a few of them less so (in particular the awful Iniball on "Could a Never"). Unlike some modern reggae artists, I Wayne is actually at his best when he focuses on the reggae verities and steers clear of experimentation; the lovely "Free the People" makes excellent use of a vintage reggae rhythm, and the album's highlight is a bouncy combination track with Deva Brat on which both singer and deejay dance lightly over a tense high-tempo rocker's beat. When he explores funky non- reggae sounds, as on the album-closing "Natural Ites," the results are less compelling. Recommended overall. ~ Rick Anderson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Book of Life I Wayne 4:4
  3. 2 Words of Liberation I Wayne 0:30
  4. 3 Free the People I Wayne 4:8
  5. 4 Annihilation I Wayne 4:30
  6. 5 Smart Attack I Wayne 3:18
  7. 6 Life Is Easy I Wayne 3:10
  8. 7 Need Her in I Arms I Wayne 3:30
  9. 8 No Vanity Love I Wayne 4:28
  10. 9 Jealousy and Abuse I Wayne 4:2
  11. 10 Good Enough I Wayne 3:9
  12. 11 Politics and Religion I Wayne 3:33
  13. 12 No Unnecessary War I Wayne 3:47
  14. 13 Money Dem a Run Down I Wayne 3:33
  15. 14 Could A Never I Wayne 4:21
  16. 14 Could A Never I Wayne 4:20
  17. 15 Dart to Them Hart I Wayne 4:7
  18. 16 Natural Ites I Wayne 4:8

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