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Album Review

Ah, yes, those halcyon early days of embryonic ragga; Sly & Robbie, "Under Me Sleng Teng," and those rhythms that fueled dancehall hits over and over (and over) again. But why stop there, when with the push of a button you can reinvigorate veteran vocalists via this hip new style. It's easy. And Gregory Isaacs, like many other established singers, was keen to have a go, entering the studio with every notable producer of the age. Tad and Peter Dawkins, unlike most of the ragga producers of the time, had more of an interest in the synthesizer as a musical instrument, rather than as a percussive tool. So, while their beats didn't have the power of the competition, the musical arrangements tended to be far more interesting. In contrast to most of what was going on in the dancehall, Easy sounded very much like easy listening, but only because the producers had a light touch and a penchant for upbeat music. Isaacs reacted accordingly, and delivered up a set of silky performances, whose very warmth will be ever more evident in hindsight. Many of the songs are remodels of past hits, "Love Is Overdue" and "Tear Drops" included; also of note is a surprisingly original take on Jacob Miller's "Tenement Yard." All of Easy is very understated, but that's its true beauty. A charming little record, and, while not a classic by any standard, a totally enjoyable experience.

Biography

Born: 15 July 1951 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of Jamaica's most beloved vocalists who was as pertinent in dancehalls as he was in bedrooms, Gregory Isaacs' career stretched over 30 years. From the heady days of reggae through lovers rock, a genre he virtually invented, his talent reached into the modern age. Born in the Fletcher's Land area of Kingston, Jamaica, on July 15, 1951, Isaacs arrived in the music business via the talent show circuit, a tried and true formula for many of the island's budding singing stars. Byron Lee was the first...
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Easy, Gregory Isaacs
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