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Album Review

On vacation in the Caribbean, Creation Records boss Alan McGee heard and signed Bermuda-born reggae artist Mishka, and this self-titled debut contains the fruits of that chance meeting. While Caucasian reggae artists are often met with the same critical and commercial apprehension as Caucasian rappers, Mishka actually transcends his influence on this collection of ten songs and delivers a fine debut that adds to the genre instead of pirating it. The subject matter is fairly simple — consisting mainly of love and relationships — but the singer's voice, reminiscent of a young Sting, contains an emotional believability that elevates the simple lyrics. The reverb-drenched guitars and strained vocals of "Give You All the Love," for example, create an immediate hook that draws the listener into the album's more subtle tunes such as "Lonely" and "When the Rain Comes Down." Though at first pass the album doesn't instantly grab a listener the way McGee's hasty signing would suggest, after the deceptively simple melodies begin to take hold, it becomes increasingly clear that it wasn't just the Caribbean sun or stiff drinks that made Creation's boss so giddy to record the young singer.


Born: 1974 in Bermuda

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s

Like his older sister, singer/songwriter Heather Nova (born Heather Frith), pop-reggae singer Mishka grew up at sea, traveling from island to island in the West Indies on his Canadian parents' sailboat, where he received most of his education and listened to whatever music he could. When his parents returned to Canada, he completed school and returned to the Caribbean, eventually becoming a competitive windsurfer and representing Bermuda at international meets. In the meantime, he had also taken...
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Mishka, Mishka
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