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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

EEK-A-MOUSE

By Jill Ettinger

Eek-a-Speeka
Greensleeves

The reggae pantheon would be a lot poorer without the flamboyant perspective of the legendary dancehall don Eek-a-Mouse. Part comedian, part commentator, Eek-a-Mouse returns from a long hiatus with Eek-a-Speeka. Mouse tries to recapture his '80s glory with a banging set of potential hits produced by Blacka Dread, mixed at Tuff Gong studios and boasting some of reggae's finest supporting musicians. The opening "Physically Critically" gets political, while the clean beats of the blatant pro-marijuana anthem "I Love Weed" is a prime example of straight reggae that needs no help from drum 'n' bass, garage or hip-hop fusion to get your body moving. Mouse hasn?Jt been this on-point since his classic 1982 set Wa-Do-Dem. There simply isn't a bad track on this record: "Every Posse" haunts long into "Keep Accusing Me" and the 2004 version of "Wa-Do-Dem (revisited)" makes one wonder why Mouse ever fell off in the first place. Eek-a- Mouse may play it silly, but he keeps it all real with his flicky-tricky lips speaking the truth.