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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Barrington Levy
Published July 2, 2007


It’s okay to admit it: sometimes telling reggae artists apart is a challenge. But there’s truly no substitute for Barrington Levy’s distinctive voice and delivery. This 1979 set, newly reissued, establishes Levy’s singing style right from the start. It also inaugurates his working relationship with producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes and the Roots Radics band. This new collection is packaged with the original 12-inch versions of “Englishman” and “Sister Carol.” All the tracks on Englishman are classics that helped shape and establish modern dancehall reggae. Levy’s a master at creating memorable vocal hooks. “Don’t Fuss Nor Fight,” “Look Girl,” and “Look Youthman” display his maturity and powerful songwriting abilities, and classic rhythms that have gone on to lay the foundation for many other reggae hits are elevated throughout Englishman by the Roots Radics.