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Luciano 10/4/2011

Review

Overexposure has historically been a fact of life for reggae's best singers -- whether because of pressure from greedy producers or poor personal judgment, the careers of vocalists as gifted as John Holt, Dennis Brown, and Gregory Isaacs have all suffered at various times from too many albums of mediocre quality released too quickly. Luciano's talent is almost unique in its ability to withstand a nearly constant stream of full-length releases without ever seeming to be diluted: almost all of his albums are a pure joy to hear. This one, recorded for the German Irievibrations label, is no exception: from the crisp and harmonically colorful title track to the swinging ska rhythms of "Feeling for Love" and the stern imprecations of "Mek It Over Now," Luciano shows himself able to deliver his conscious, uplifting lyrics and hook-filled melodies convincingly and consistently in a variety of rootswise musical styles. His voice is so pretty that there's always the risk of sounding too smooth -- he avoids that pitfall by leaning toward sternly moralizing lyrics, but even when he's at his sharpest he sounds more joyful over the prospect of Jah's mercy than gleeful about the impending destruction of Babylon. (On "Bun Dem" he flirts with a sort of Bobo Dread destructiveness, but his heart isn't in it.) Only the melodically boring "Love or Leave Me" fails to convince; otherwise, this is yet another triumph from one of reggae music's most inspiring stars. ~ Rick Anderson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Rub a Dub Markeet Luciano 4:5
  3. 2 Hard Road Luciano 4:55
  4. 3 Truly Love Someone Luciano 4:24
  5. 4 Only You Jah Luciano 3:29
  6. 5 Mek It Over Luciano 4:2
  7. 6 Voice of a Trumpet Luciano 3:45
  8. 7 Feeling For Love Luciano 4:22
  9. 8 Living My Life Luciano 4:10
  10. 9 Love or Leave Me Luciano 4:13
  11. 10 Praise Jah Anytime Luciano 3:35
  12. 11 Where is the Love Luciano 3:20
  13. 12 Always Around Luciano 4:38
  14. 13 Love Paradise Luciano 3:43
  15. 14 Bun Dem Luciano 3:10

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