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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

MICHAEL ROSE

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published September 23, 2005

African Roots
M Records

Most famous as the lead voice of Black Uhuru during their peak period, Michael Rose has been a leader of the roots-reggae scene since he recorded with Niney the Observer in the 1970s. Now he’s teamed up with Canadian bassist/producer Ryan Moore (Legendary Pink Dots, Twilight Circus), and the result is a wonderful recreation of classic reggae. Because the album was produced in Kingston, London and The Netherlands, the sound varies from track to track, but there’s always heavy bass, busy percussion, plus legends like Dean Fraser, Style Scott and Chinna Smith. “No Burial” features a funky bass line wrapping around a leisurely beat livened up by some MC chatting by Brother Culture. “Stepping Out Of Babylon” is pure, powerful Rose, while “Wicked Run” features amazing dub effects. From the marching rhythm of “Glitter” to Nick Manasseh’s sedated remix of “No Burial,” Rose adapts to a variety of moods. He has one of the most distinctive deliveries in reggae, and it’s wonderful to hear him again, especially over such excellent dub/roots tracks. ’Nuff respect to Moore for making it happen.