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Live & Learn Presents: Beres Hammond & Barrington Levy

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Album Review

Beres Hammond and Barrington Levy rank among reggae's greatest pure vocalists, and this eight-track CD presents five Levy numbers. Hammond is more soulful, while Levy is more vocally flexible and spirited. Levy does playful fare such as "Some Girls Are Trouble" and political/topical material like "Juggling Soldier," although the emphasis is clearly on entertainment rather than relevance. "Sho-Be-Do-Sho" showcases Levy's verbal facility, and "Strictly Rocker" features his classic reggae sound. Hammond's "Never Let Go" and "I Will Follow You" are gloriously sung, powerful performances, while "When The Grass Is Green" falters lyrically, but Hammond's evocative singing elevates it.

Biography

Born: 28 August 1955 in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most underappreciated reggae artists of his time, Beres Hammond was something of a throwback during his '90s heyday: a soulful crooner indebted to classic rocksteady and American R&B, one who preferred live instrumentation and wrote much of his own material. Hammond specialized in romantic lovers rock, but he also found time to delve into light dancehall, conscious roots reggae, hip-hop fusion, and straight-up contemporary R&B. He was born Hugh Beresford Hammond on August 28, 1955,...
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Live & Learn Presents: Beres Hammond & Barrington Levy, Beres Hammond
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