|01-22-2002, 07:26 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2000
RE: Happy Birthday Junkyard Dogg
|01-23-2002, 08:06 AM||#2 (permalink)|
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'On the Cusp' of perfection
By Wayne Bowman
CD review of
On the Cusp by Xtatik
The XTATIK CD of 2002 takes the band to another level, both musically and in terms of the respect due to its musicians.
This 19-track collection should finally prove that Xtatik is no Bulls without its Jordan. Whether Machel is there or not, the band carries on and does a commendable job on stage and in studio. On the Cusp proves that Xtatik is a band and not a bunch of back-ups for the "bad boy" of soca.
After more than a decade, Machel Montano and Xtatik come one step closer to the perfect soca blend with the music found here.
Before the songs, the band treats listeners to an intro featuring cuts from the CD's track-list.
Montano's vocals then break through as he sings the inspirational "We Will Carry On." The days of inspirational songs having to be soft and low are over, as Montano proves with his bouncy, joyous melody, with its singing sitar riffs.
Derwin "Slick-D" Vallie and Ken Holder, along with Montano, shared the programming duties for this track composed jointly by Montano, Dalton Joseph and Harkness Taitt.
My boy Peter C Lewis is next with his road march contender, "Punta," which is a popular dance from Belize. The horns on this track are bright and crisp.
Listen closely for the guitar riffs being pulled by Dean Williams. Magic, I say. Anastas "Nas-T" Hackett played most of the instruments.
The fella called Farmer Nappy loves bacchanal and he comes up with the most infectious rhythms and then combines them with the sweetest melodies. He has a track entitled "Flag Brass" and it's sugar and honey mixed with congo pepper; not just a jump-up song.
Farmer tells a story as he sings about the good old days of the Brassorama. Here he mixes brass with the flag-waving thing to get "Flagorama-Brassorama".
Slick-D uses samples from James Brown's "Sex Machine" and borrows a segment of the melody of "Mas Que Nada" for his naughty track, "An Yuh Swallow Dat." He pokes fun at those gullible folks out there who easily accept any story told to them.
Good combination of genres here as soca is blended with soul, dancehall and Brazilian influences.
Farmer Nappy is back with a song for all the engine rooms out there. In fact, "Junkyard" would have sounded nice in the Big Yard for Panorama, but I don't think any pan arranger picked up on it. Although built for percussion, the song features a melody that is fertile ground for the adventurous arranger.
Slick-D makes an appearance on the track, performing a rap. As the end nears the other instruments fade and an engine room takes over the speakers. Just as you're getting into it, however, it's finished.
Lewis performs a dance track entitled "Port-of-Spain," in which he's inviting people to come down to Trinidad for Carnival.
We can really use this kind of promotion, since there are fewer tourists coming this year.
Big tune as Roger George joins Montano for "Break." And no, I did not mean it in that way. Naughty people.
Many have picked this for the Road March and it just might do it. More important than that, however, is the song's potential for longevity and international recognition. The topic explored is true to any employee in any part of the world.
Although I've heard that zouk bassline before, I still love the song.
A soca love song is always so lovely to hear and "Cry" by Lewis is no exception. Playing most of the instruments here is Dean Williams, who puts down a mean performance on acoustic guitar. He also composed the song along with Lewis and Mark Wright.
The brass rings out on "Tantana," which features vocals by Slick-D, Lewis and George.
The next song, "Dem Wha Dance," brings the reggae band Third World to my mind. Not that the song sounds like one of their tracks, but the spirit of the music flows like that of a Third World tune.
There is also a house mix. This, too, is quite impressive. Hey Peter, who's Freaky ################y? She sounds like fun.
Roger George is trouble, yes. When he starts to sing, women forget their men and start to swoon over him. I've seen it. I guess to save himself from a licking from angry boyfriends he penned, "Mo Luv." I must say that I have fallen in love with this song, which showcases some of George's impressive vocal skills.
Rounding out the collection are remixes of "Port-of-Spain" and "Junkyard".
This is a CD that a soca lover should have, so get out there and buy it, because I'm not lending and I'm not burning. And please, purchase only originals and not pirated copies.
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