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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Paul St. Hilaire

By Doug Merlino
Published August 23, 2007

A Divine State Of Mind
False Tuned

Dominican-born Paul St. Hilaire, also known as Tikiman, has been prominent on the European dub circuit, tracking vocals for releases by groups including Berlin’s Rhythm & Sound. On his second solo album, the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist delivers a slab of roots-oriented dub and reggae. Unsurprisingly, it’s anchored by deep bass and slathered with massive reverb. Hilaire’s voice–which at times calls to mind both Bim Sherman and Horace Andy–makes the work stand out. The album leads with two of its strongest cuts, the dubby, echo-washed “Little Song” and “Peculiar.” Elsewhere, Hilaire delivers straight-up roots reggae on “Black Moses” and the political commentary of “Fortunate,” neither of which is very interesting. The further Hilaire gets from the rhythmic confines of traditional reggae, the more his voice soars. Overall, the wide-open soundscapes of songs like “Praise” outweigh the missteps, making this album a worthwhile addition to a dub fan’s collection.