Print this Page

World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

FREDDIE McGREGOR

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published September 23, 2005

Comin’ In Tough
VP

Most people know this reggae legend from his biggest hit (and the name of his record label) “Big Ship.” They’ll have happy memories of that infectious song from the first notes of his new hit “Lock It Down” as well as the swinging “A Better Way.” McGregor’s duet with Marcia Griffiths, “United We Stand,” is a sweet love ballad produced, like most of the tracks here, by the great Bobby “Digital” Dixon (it’s the first time McGregor has worked with him). Anthony B appears on the get-your-hands-in-the-air “Can You Feel It,” but there are also some more serious moments. McGregor paraphrases Jesus (Mark 8:36) to make a point in “Choices,” and preaches positive messages on the earnest, acoustic “Love On Our Side” and the mellow “Pick Yourself Up” featuring Morgan Heritage. Famous for his covers and his soulful style, McGregor wisely remakes the Five Stairsteps’ “Ooh Child”—it’s a very good version of one of the most moving R&B songs ever. McGregor has been churning out hits since the ’60s, and this album is full of prime cuts.