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Victory Is Mine

Dennis Brown

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Album Review

The Roots Radics revel in stripped-back rhythms with lots of wide-open spaces, but just hear how rich their accompaniment is on Victory Is Mine. The beats may be all programmed, a militant tattoo to boot, but how organic the arrangements, how warm the resulting sound. No matter how sharp the rhythm, how taut the riffing, Errol "Flabba" Holt's throbbing bass heats the stew, while the brass section of Dean Fraser, Dave Madden, and Nambo Robinson brings the songs to a boil. No wonder Dennis Brown reaches new heights within, with the musicians forever pushing him higher. Reveling in the music surrounding him, the singer tears into every number with relish, from the sweetest love songs to the most militant of cultural pieces. As with all great sets, every track has something fabulous to offer, lyrically, musically, and/or vocally. The title track combines all three: sturdy beats, a sumptuous arrangement with the musicians all vying for attention, a jubilant love-conquers-all theme, and a stunning performance from Brown. Dwight Pinkney's fabulous riffing is showcased on "Call Me," Robinson serenely showboats his way across "Sad News" (one of three cover songs within), Dean Fraser smokes on "We Are in Love," the percussionists and programmers grab the limelight on "Everyday People," and so it continues on, as every musician alone or in combination displays his or her superb skills. And overhead Brown glows brightly in all his glory; his soulful performance on the lovelorn "Should I" is riveting, the power of his righteous warnings on "Everyday People" is overwhelming, his pleas of "Don't Give Up" come straight from the heart, while the richness of his tones on the impassioned "Call Me" and the sweet breeziness of his cover of "Sunday Morning" are exemplary. Victory is indeed his, but the Radics deserve an equal share of the prize, as does Leggo Beast, whose productions cleanly etch out the greatness of this set.

Biography

Born: 01 February 1957 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

One of Jamaica's most beloved and prolific artists, the late Dennis Brown has left behind a slew of classic songs and myriad hits, a rich musical legacy born of a career that spanned over 30 years. Born Dennis Emmanuel Brown in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1957, his childhood home virtually destined him to a future in the music industry. He grew up on Orange Street, the heart of the island's music scene, with most of the major recording studios a mere stone's throw away. As the stars and future hitmakers...
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