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Voice Of Jamaica

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Album Review

The gruff-voiced DJ Buju Banton's major-label debut was well received but did not really establish him as a unique talent; clearly capable of riding a rhythm and interacting well with singers on the handful of combination tracks sprinkled throughout the program, Banton was nevertheless a less-than-original voice and didn't immediately stand head and shoulders above the other rockstone-style DJs who were proliferating in the wake of Shabba Ranks' international success. But pure originality is not needed to make a very fine reggae album, and a very fine reggae album this is. Paired with Wayne Wonder, Banton acquits himself nicely on the slightly overly slick but still enjoyable "Searching," and he shines even brighter with Brian & Tony Gold on "If Loving Was a Crime." "Make My Day" comes just a bit too close to smooth and smarmy R&B, but "Him Take Off" is a muscularly minimal masterpiece. This remastered reissue features two bonus tracks, both originally issued on a promo-only single. Recommended.


Born: 15 July 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Buju Banton was one of the most popular dancehall reggae artists of the '90s. Debuting with a series of popular "slack" singles, which drew criticism for their graphic sexuality and homophobia, Banton converted to Rastafarianism and revolutionized dancehall by employing the live instrumentation and social consciousness of classic roots reggae. He first adopted the approach on his 1995 classic 'Til Shiloh, which raised hopes among his fans that he would become dancehall's great international ambassador,...
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Voice Of Jamaica, Buju Banton
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