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Inside My Head

Ranking Roger

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Album Review

This is Ranking Roger's first solo album in three years, and it is the best material he's committed to tape since leaving the English Beat. He's joined by former Beatmate Andy Cox on guitar and former Specials bassist Horace Panter, along with several other guests, but most of the music is written, played (i.e., programmed), and produced by Ranking Roger himself, and runs the gamut from jungly electronica ("Ambient 2") to digital reggae ("Inside My Head") and modern Two-Tone ska ("Muscle Ska"). Not everything is equally compelling — "They Know" plods along for an excessive six minutes, while "You'll Learn Someday" harks back drearily to the bad old days of his post-General Public solo work. But the high points greatly outnumber the low ones; Inside My Head marks a welcome return to form for one of the most influential artists of the '80s.

Biography

Born: February 21, 1961 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Reggae

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

Best-known as the singer/toaster and co-frontman of the English Beat and General Public, Ranking Roger was born Roger Charlery in Birmingham, England, on February 21, 1961, and became a punk rock fan as a teenager. He joined ska revival pioneers the English Beat in 1978, where he teamed with singer Dave Wakeling to give the group a unique one-two punch out front. After three albums (including the brilliant I Just Can't Stop It), Wakeling and Roger departed in 1983 to form the more pop- and soul-tinged...
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Inside My Head, Ranking Roger
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