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King Man

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Album Review

Long considered one of the leaders of the "conscious dancehall" movement, Everton Blender takes a step back from his trademark computer-based style and delivers what is not only his best album so far, but also one of the best old-school roots reggae albums to appear in recent years. Fronting a band that consists entirely of actual human beings playing acoustic drums, real guitars, keyboards, and horns, Everton Blender shows himself to be just as comfortable harking back to reggae's classical period as he is riding the digital rhythms of the new millennium. In addition to fine original songs on the standard themes (Babylon can't keep him down, herb gets a bad rap, his girlfriend's father doesn't want her dating a Rastaman, etc.) the program includes sweet and beautifully sung renditions of the lounge classic "Little Green Apples," and the soul standard "Is It Because I'm Black." Blender's dancehall roots are showing a bit when he repeatedly talks about BMWs on "Throw Down Your Arms" and "King Man," and he sounds a bit defensive about his relatively comfortable financial situation on "Do Good" ("They don't know how hard you work to achieve/Them say vanity"), but in general he sounds like he's been singing this roots-and-culture stuff his whole life. Here's hoping he'll do a bit more in this vein before returning to the dancehall. [The CD version includes several fine bonus tracks, among them a disco mix of "Tabernacle Tree" featuring DJ Trinity, and Nyahbinghi-style remixes of "The System" and "False Tongue."]


Born: Clarendon, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

With his smooth, crooning, tenor vocals, up-tempo arrangements, and spiritually uplifting themes, Everton Blender (born Everton Dennis Williams) is one of the top performers of Jamaica's dancehall tradition. In addition to receiving the prestigious Chicago Martins International award, Blender received South Florida Reggae/Soca awards as "most improved entertainer" in 1996 and 1997. According to The St. Louis Dispatch, Blender "evokes memories of classic reggae performers of the past." Rootsworld...
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King Man, Everton Blender
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