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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

The Next Best Thing

By Ernest Barteldes
Published March 20, 2007

Working Machine
Transform Entertainment


Its tuneless title song aside, this is a cohesive, great-sounding album from a promising Canadian reggae band. The songs blend seamlessly into each other without interruption, and before you know it the album is over. Some favorites in the mix are “Slow Down,” a fast-paced tune with a lot of electronic effects and a smart jazz-influenced guitar solo, and “What You Need,” a tune with subtle sexual innuendo permeating the lyrics. “Static,” in which the band channels early Police to their own benefit, is also worth a close listen, as is the acoustic “High Roll,” on which the electronics are dropped in favor of kazoos, of all things. The fact that all the band members are vocalists and songwriters gives the group a decided advantage of various, and different, creative voices in action. Maybe it’s not an essential purchase, but it’s a rewarding one.