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Album Review

Imagine how R&B fans would have felt if, in the early 1990s, 1960s soul goddess Carla Thomas had come out of retirement to return to the charts with a hip-hop influenced remake of one of the Stax smashes she was famous for. Unfortunately, that didn't really happen, but something comparable did happen in reggae in the early 1990s, when Dawn Penn (who had left the music industry in 1970) returned to the charts with a remake of her 1960s smash "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)." Thankfully, Penn's voice has held up well over the years, and she's in generally good form on 1994's No, No, No, her first full-length album after her comeback. Though the production of Sly Dunbar, Steely & Clevie, and others is slick and high tech, and some of the material has a strong urban contemporary flavor — especially "I'll Do It Again" and "Samfi Boy" — much of the CD recalls the type of rocksteady style that Penn was known for in the 1960s. To be sure, "The First Cut Is the Deepest," "Keep in Touch," and a cover of Smokey Robinson's "I Want a Love I Can See" are a lot slicker, glossier, and more produced than Penn's Studio One recordings of the late 1960s. But the rocksteady influence is prominent nonetheless. Although No, No, No isn't as strong as it could have been, it's a respectable, decent effort, and it certainly is nice to see Penn recording again after so many years.

Biography

Born: 1952 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A Jamaican singer who first made a name for herself during reggae's rocksteady era of the 1960s, Dawn Penn gave the reggae world a pleasant surprise when she returned to the charts in the early '90s with a dancehall-influenced remake of her signature song "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)." The vocalist was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica where, in the late '60s, she recorded the original version of that song for Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label. At the time, Dodd was among reggae's...
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No, No, No, Dawn Penn
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