Conscious word-slinger Greg Rose aka Perfect returns with his fourth studio album since he started to built his name with his breakthrough single "Handcart Bwoy" in 2006. "French Connection" (the title refers to Jamaica based French producer and musician Romain "Sherkhan" Chiffre of Tiger Records who entirely produced this album) follows up the decent "Giddimani" and "Born Dead With Life" albums and the rather disappointing "Karma" set.
Even though some of the 17 tracks on "French Connection" immediately draw one's attention, it's not a collection of tunes that instantly blows you away. It's an album that definitely needs several spins before it fully grabs you. His previous releases, especially his first two albums, already showed that Perfect can handle any style of riddim no matter whether it's Roots Reggae, Dancehall or even Hip Hop, and here he does it again. And although "French Connection" features a variety of musical styles, it's a well balanced and consistent set altogether... actually it's Perfect's best album yet.
After a somewhat weird intro called "Rasta Ground" with DJ Purple Haze, the album really takes of with the catchy gospel-soul tune "Step Away", which comes across the "Chalwa" riddim. Then is time for the single "Absolute Blessings", done in combination with Sizzla. This one is underpinned by a relicked version of the "Night Nurse" riddim and belongs to the standouts. Matters of the heart are expressed in "Come On Woman", a decent lovers piece on the wonderful "Box Guitar" aka "Sandfly" riddim. The much covered Bill Withers 1971 Soul hit "Ain't No Sunshine" gets a very unusual but nevertheless interesting interpretation and incorporates scratchy sounds of a vinyl pressing in the background. "Ruff Time" over the "Yellow Paint" riddim is another standout tune, which is followed by probably the weirdest track of the entire album, "Son Of Jamaica". After having given the latter a few listens it turns out to be a wonderful song with a great vibe.
The remaining part of "French Connection" kicks off with the decent "Family Man", and furthermore features the obligatory ganja tune "Marijuana We Seh" over the "Ants Bite" riddim, the solid "Judgment Morning", the above par "Mount Zion" with its wicked bass line, and "Bobo Special", the special with a strong old skool dancehall vibe. It seems that any self-respecting modern reggae artist needs to have at least one ganja tune on his album and there's a tendency he also can't do without an acoustic tune. Here it's "Rebel In Me" that adds an acoustic vibe to the album. The combination with Lutan Fyah, "Nah Cut Mi Dread", is a standout track across the "Dengue Fever" riddim. The "Wharfedale" riddim, earlier used for a.o. Tanya Stephens' "The Truth", is used for the real nice "7 Is The Number", which is followed by the strong "Life", pairing Perfect with the talented singer Zamunda. "Forget Everything", a tune with a strong blues/rock feel, rounds off an album that is worth checking out.
Teacher and Mr T (Reggae-vibes)
released January 1, 2010
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