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Inner Exile

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Album Review

He's got the voice, he's got the groove, and he's got the laid-back attitude. He could be Jamaican; he could be an heir to Bob Marley's kingdom. Yet, he's actually from Zurich and Inner Exile is only his debut album. Lee Everton's brand of reggae is in direct continuity with Marley's. It seems he has all the details figured out, from the wah-wah rhythm guitar and electric piano to the velvety horn arrangements. However, Everton is not a copycat. This album features 15 songs, all four minutes and under. The jams so typical in reggae music have been evacuated to put the focus on the song material. Which makes Everton a reggae singer-songwriter. His voice is the album's main pole of attraction: soulful, sweet, and filled with reggae and Van Morrison-esque inflections. The lyrics, invariably about relationships and music, are a little in the light department, much closer to heavily-traveled blues themes (which bluesmen use as pretexts for passionate vocal delivery) than to Marley's humanist and political themes. However, that lightness befits Everton's voice and songwriting. Highlights include "You Ain't Good to Me No More," "Wont Keep Knocking," the very rootsy "Slingstyle Music" (Everton's musical manifesto), and a convincing cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me." The only thing one could reproach to Inner Exile is its homogeneity, which can be seen as a lack of creativity, almost every song being cast from the same mold. Cut down to 40 minutes, Inner Exile would have been a slam-dunk. Clocking in at just under an hour, it gets a tad long, although Everton's up-close, natural, intimate vocal delivery will probably keep you hooked till the last song fades off. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Inner Exile, Lee Everton
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Reggae, Music, World
  • Released: 05 October 2007

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