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He Who Knows It, Feels It

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Album Review

In the '80s, Yami Bolo was one of the few voices singing out of a cultural wilderness, and his recordings were sparse and scattered. However, as the decade drew to a close, collaborations with producers Junior Delgado and Augustus Pablo significantly raised the singer's profile.

The cultural tide slowly began turning as the '90s dawned, and Bolo's fortunes with it, first with this 1991 Niney the Observer produced set, quickly followed the next year by Up Life Street. The latter album, overseen by Trevor Douglas, overshadowed He Who Knows It Feels It rather unfairly, because this is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Critics, of course, preferred the far more cultural Street. Feels It, in contrast, is heavily weighted towards matters of the heart, with only the powerful sufferer's title track and the utterly infectious, praises-of-Jah themed "King's Birthday" falling into the cultural realm. In contrast, it was the party numbers like "Get Up and Dance" and "Turbo Charge" that were destined for 45 rpms. Three versions of the driving "Dance" appear on the set, while the equally upbeat "Turbo Charge" would also entitle a Niney compilation that appeared on Heartbeat this same year. In a similar party vein is the irrepressible hooray-for-reggae of "Dance Hall Music." The rest of the set is given over to romance, with highlights including the bouncy plea of "Let Me Be Your Man," the sweet yearning of "Your Love Is Amazing," the impatient "The Timing Is Right," and the sultry "Lady in Love." Less successful, but still of interest is the dancehall version of the Platters' romantic classic "Twilight Time."

As always with Niney productions, the militant rhythms are to the fore, with the riddims themselves laid down by the Roots Radics and a clutch of other top-notch talent — the set boasts seven keyboardists alone. Even so, the heavily dancehall inspired backings are of less interest than Bolo himself, who shines throughout this set.

Customer Reviews

Turbo Charge is amazing!

Turbo Charge is an awesome song that no reggae fan should pass up! Yami Bolo is great!


Born: October 1, 1970 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

International star Yami Bolo has been recording and performing "Jah-centered" cultural reggae since the 1980s. Bolo believes that he has been divinely called to make himself and his entourage revolutionary soldiers of the Almighty on a mission to spread their message of love, peace, and hope to the entire world with their performances and recordings. He is particularly interested in uplifting the youth songs that warn against violence such as "Gun War." Born Rolando McLean, Yami Bolo's earliest musical...
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He Who Knows It, Feels It, Yami Bolo
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