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Album Review

Truly one of the most bizarre reggae/ragga records to have ever been released, Classic finds Buccaneer pioneering a fusion of dancehall and classical music. Singing his own lyrics to the tunes of classical pieces like "The Blue Danube," "Moonlight Sonata" and "The Barber of Seville," Buccaneer actually doesn't rely heavily on dense dance production, preferring to drive the songs with his idiosyncratic vocals. To a large extent, the approach works, even though it sounds awkward at first, because of his considerable vocal skills. Combining toasting with bluesy and operatic inflections, Buccaneer has a voice that sounds like no other, and he makes these time-worn melodies sound vivid, even though the fusions are a little silly. Classic doesn't necessarily showcase a new direction for reggae, but as a stylistic detour, it's surprisingly successful.


Formed: 1974 in Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s

Even by the ever-changing standards of dancehall, where fans always want to hear something new and different, the 1996 breakthrough of Buccaneer was a shocker. That's because no one had demonstrated the desire, ability, or outright cojones to combine ragga toasting and opera before — but not only did Buccaneer pull it off, he wound up with a massive hit in "Skettel Concerto" by doing so, and set the course for a career full of such genre-defying moments. Yet Andrew Bradford had been laying...
Full bio
Classic, Buccaneer
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  • £5.99
  • Genres: Reggae, Music
  • Released: 01 January 1997

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