Bobby Tenna hails from Montego Bay, Jamaica, A
rising roots Reggae artist, his inspiration is grounded in love and light. Tenna says it best, "Music from
the heart is harmony to the soul.”
Music has always been a part of Bobby’s life. “I grew up in a strict Christian Seventh Day Adventist
home so my family didn’t listen to certain types of music,” he explained. “But I had an uncle with a
big music collection, an’ I used to listen to stuff like Dennis Brown an’ Motown.”
As a youth, he honed his musical aspirations as a member of his church choir. He then joined an
acapella group from the Montego Bay area where he further gained the experience and ammunition to
launch out on his solo journey.
But it was Garnet Silk who had the biggest influence on Tenna, who was born Robert Sylvester Virgo,
in Orange, a rustic community seven miles outside of Montego Bay. It was the early 1990s and there
was a Rasta revival taking place in dancehall led by Silk, DJ Tony Rebel and Dub Poet Yasus
Afari. It was then that Tenna knew music was his destiny.
His first recording, “Loneliness”, was done as Robert Tenna for dancehall icon Sugar Minott’s Youth
Promotions label. By the time he moved on to producer Junior ‘Heavy D’ Fraser to record “Somebody
Touch Me”, he had evolved into Bobby Tenna.
He later performed on the cabaret circuit and created a masterful blend of showmanship and style that
positioned him to be in high demand. Although he established himself as a solid performer, recording
hit songs and quality albums has always been his greatest desire.
Tenna stresses the importance of keeping a Jamaican link to keep his sound authentic. “Ninety per
cent of my work is done in Jamaica. Yard is the root an’ it’s important to water the root,” he reasons.
Bobby Tenna now brings Jamaica to our homes and into our hearts with music that has strong vocals
and a powerful vibe. The message is always one of love and positive change. Bobby sets the mood of
each track by sliding you into the smooth, sensuous Reggae beat, capturing your attention and
imagination, spinning truth that both entertains and enlightens. His skip a heartbeat voice is sure to
resonate with those from all walks of life.
Bobby’s dynamic stage presence encompasses true talent, grace and sensuality. He never disappoints
and leaves an indelible mark that cements his place among Reggae’s music ambassadors.
Since Bobby is a multidimensional artist – singer, songwriter, and producer – he knew he could call his
own shots. So he took destiny into his own hands and began WileFiya, Inc, a production/promotion
company, as well as an independent label. His albums, “Give Thanx 4 Life” (2007) and “Words &
Melody,” (2010) have been met with rave reviews, and are spinning worldwide. Filled with love,
encouragement and promise, the albums give hope for the weary and praises to the Most High.
Bobby Tenna is the real deal and brings a breath of fresh air to the soul. Look for more from Bobby as
this star continues to streak across the sky.
For more information about Bobby, see:
Drums /DONI MARSHALL
Bass/ TOHO SANDERS
keyboards/ DARREN BATARA / RASTA JON
Guitar/ JAHMEL VILORIA
CD WORDS & MELODY 2010 ( WILEFIYA INC )
CD Top Rated Riddim 2009 various artists ( TADS INTL
CD Give Thanks 4 Life 2007 ( WILEFIYA INC
CD The Fugitive Riddim 2009 various artists ( WILEFIYA INC
CD Genesis Riddim 2008 various artists ( COUSINS
CD 83 Rhythm 2008 various artists ( NO DOUBTS RECORDS JA / Greensleves
CD Chemistry Riddim 2009 various artists ( SONS A SPOON / TADS INTL
7" Single Red Alert 2007 (WILEFIYA INC)
7" Single Battlefield 2008 (NO DOUBTS RECORDS JA / Greensleves
7'' Single Loneliness 1995 ( YOUTH PROMOTION
7'' Single Waiting on you 1996 ( BIG ONE RECORDS
7'' Single Somebody Touch me 1997( HEAVY D
7'' Single Ghetto Well Red 2009 ( WILEFIYA INC
7'' Single Children of the World 2009 ( WILEFIYA INC
7'' Single Nah Easy 2009 ( WILEFIYA INC
BOBBY TENNA GOES DANCEHALL
BOBBY TENNA RELEASED HIS FIRST DANCEHALL TRACK '' ME MUMMA ''
BOBBY TENNA GOES DANCEHALL
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BOBBY TENNA GOES DANCE HALL WITH HIS LATEST SINGLE '' ME MUMMA '' FROM HIS SOON TO B...BOBBY TENNA GOES DANCE HALL WITH HIS LATEST SINGLE '' ME MUMMA '' FROM HIS SOON TO BE RELEASED ALBUM TITLED '' STILL ALIVE ''
BOBBY TENNA ALBUM WORDS & MELODY
bobby tenna does it with WORDS & MELODY
BOBBY TENNA WORDS & MELODY
BOBBY TENNA WORDS & MELODY
Bobby Tenna goes 'Way Back'
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Breadfruit roasting on an open flame, and children playing marbles in the dirt and cricket in the s...Breadfruit roasting on an open flame, and children playing marbles in the dirt and cricket in the street. These are some of the images to be seen in a new video, directed by Wayne Benjamin, for the song titled 'Way Back' by Bobby Tenna.
The track comes from his sophomore album, Words & Melody, which was released in September.
Bobby Tenna is a rising star, bringing a fresh new voice with powerful and uplifting messages. Way Back contains a reference to his days in the church, where he was a member of the choir and had his passion for music ignited.
In his teens, he was a member of an a cappella group in Montego Bay, not too far from his hometown of Orange District, St James. Tenna eventually carved out his niche as a cabaret singer in many of the top resorts across Jamaica.
In 2007, the singer/songwriter/producer released his first album called Give Thanx 4 Life on his very own Wilefiya Inc Productions. The album contains 13 conscious tracks and is heavily rotated on radio stations around the world.
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Bobby Tenna goes 'Way Back'
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NEGRIL, JAMAICA – Breadfruit roasting on an open flame, and children playing marbles in the dirt and...NEGRIL, JAMAICA – Breadfruit roasting on an open flame, and children playing marbles in the dirt and cricket in the street. These are some of the images to be seen in a new video, directed by Wayne Benjamin, for the song titled ‘Way Back’ by Bobby Tenna. The track comes from his sophomore album, Words & Melody, which was released in September 2010 Bobby Tenna is a rising star, bringing a fresh new voice with powerful and uplifting messages. ‘Way Back’ contains a reference to his days in the church, where he was a member of the choir and had his passion for music ignited. In his teens, he was a member of an “a cappella” group in Montego Bay, not too far from his hometown of Orange District, Saint James. Tenna eventually carved out his niche as a cabaret singer in many of the top resorts across Jamaica. In 2007, the singer, songwriter and producer released his first album called Give Thanx 4 Life on his very own Wilefiya Inc. Productions. The album contains 13 conscious tracks and is heavily rotated on radio stations around the world.
BOBBY TENNA CD ' WORDS & MELODY ' REVIEW
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'What You See Is What You Get': A Review of "Words & Melody" by Bobby Tenna I’m going to make the...
'What You See Is What You Get': A Review of "Words & Melody" by Bobby Tenna
I’m going to make the case that, despite all of the very strange things we see from artists and the trending of the time, which is seemingly to incorporate as many different styles into Reggae music as humanly possible, there has to be some type of uniqueness in knowing what one does well and consistently accentuating it. I can take this in so many directions, but really, when you think about it, we’ve established so many things in defining what Reggae music is and how it sounds in its most basic form and although certainly nothing is wrong with ‘changing things up’, it almost seems as if we’ve given artists and producer more and more credit and praise for going further and further away from the ‘norm’. That is very unfortunate, so I think that it is very important, when given the opportunity, to highlight some of the artists who don’t necessarily seem to shy away from the usage of the term ‘Reggae artist’ in regards to their music. Of course, I could deal with people like the Lutan Fyahs and Bushmans of the world. Both of those and people like Jah Mason and the vast majority of the prominent artists from out of the Virgin Islands, almost seem to revel in the task of taking on a musical genre which is often (incorrectly and unfairly in my opinion) thought of as being a ‘template’ based or ‘cookie cutter’ genre and differentiating themselves WITHIN that. But, you already know their names, that’s why I so much look forward to speaking about a next group of similarly vibed artists who may not get that type of attention and exposure, at least not yet, but are certain to catch on with the same huge vibes-starving group of fans (and I myself am, of course, a member of such insatiable group). Not too long ago, I told you about the St. Vincy born Ossie Dellimore who was definitely in that same circle of very solid artists who don’t stray from the road of Reggae music (so much so that he even name his album ”Reggae Music”) and I feel like I always mention them, but really who else speaks of artists such as Prince Theo, Elijah Prophet and Ras Mac Bean with such a fervor and I’ll also mention Achis Reggae favourite, Messenjah Selah as well. I have a very unusual and STRONG respect for these artists and their music because it would be one thing in the case of the others that I mentioned who are very very successful and internationally renowned artists, but this next class, all extremely talented, almost seem to prove that this music is so important to them that they don’t need the big attention and are willing to sing and vibe and tap the emotions of the people who are so lucky to receive them, however many or however few. Well, we have a very nice opportunity this time around to add yet another very deserving and very powerful artist to the lot - Meet Bobby Tenna.
Hopefully you were already on board when, just a couple of years ago now, Bobby Tenna WONDERFULLY impressed through his debut album, ”Give Thanx 4 Life”. I don’t know exactly how well received that album was (besides my own, I don’t think I ever read a very detailed review of that album) (which is so regrettably nearly always the case) (which is why I do what I do), but to my own opinion it was very strong and when you REALLY dug into, the album literally OPENED right in front of your ears and you came away very impressed by Bobby Tenna’s work and his obvious commitment to his craft. More than that, I really just like to ‘stumble’ upon an artist who is ambitious enough and, again, believes in themselves enough to literally make their introduction to the wide Reggae listening world, for the most part, with a full album. Since then, things certainly haven’t been stagnant for the singer and he and his own label, Wile Fiya (which I believe is based in the state of California, as is Tenna himself) - They have been at work. Most notably, up until now, there was the Fugitive Riddim, which released not too long after the ”Give Thanx 4 Life” album and featured the likes of Jah Mason, Fantan Mojah and most unforgettably, the devastating Silver Cat as well as Tenna (more on that later). And they also released a digital single as well (more on that later too). Also, I should mention that it was certainly by no means very regular, but every so often the name Bobby Tenna did pop up on the occasional riddim release from various producers, here and there. All of this, presumably, was done in anticipation of a brand new album from Bobby Tenna and although we probably had to wait a little longer than was expected, which is so often the case with independent labels, eventually things were set in motion and set in order and now Bobby Tenna delivers his sophomore release, ”Words & Melody”. I hope that there are more than a few people who’re REALLY excited about this one. I got to the point personally, where I didn’t even know that this album’s release was imminent, but AS SOON as I saw that it was I was definitely excited about hearing just how Bobby Tenna might follow up the first one and even if he could top it as well. ”GT4L” was an album which definitely did well in introducing the artist, but one of the most interesting things about watching any artist develop is that period which arises between the first and second album because sometimes it is there when an artist may show his/her MOST development in their entire career and in Tenna’s case it was definitely going to be fascinating. While the nature and the substance of this album isn’t very different from the first (thankfully, if it were it’d make the entire foundation of this review pretty meaningless), what ends up becoming clear is that ”Words & Melody” is obviously a better album than its older sibling and that is saying a great deal. Lyrically the album is just a tad stronger and it shows itself to be a very STRONG refresher’s course in exactly why I so much enjoyed Bobby Tenna’s vibes the first time around.
Speaking of “the first time around”, one of the nicest bits of information I’d come into contact with back then was the fact that Bobby Tenna hadn’t necessarily honed his skills in the more typical manner for Reggae music. Instead of kind of hopping around from producer to producer releasing various singles as a young artist, Tenna had spent his musical formative years singing for tourists in cabarets across Jamaica and I was so happy to see, this time around, a bio for the singer where he mentions that he now considers that time as somewhat of a musical “college” experience for him - very very interesting. Also very Interesting is the tune ‘Nah Easy’ which gets things going on Bobby Tenna’s new album, ”Words & Melody”. This big and vibrant tune is Tenna’s cut of the previously mentioned Fugitive Riddim and it is absolutely SPARKLING. The tune speaks, primarily, of just holding firm when things get rough and seeking various forms of inspiration to achieve that. This tune is rather poignant in the context of the album because you’ll see this subjectry revisited more than once, and in more than one way, by Tenna throughout the duration of the album. Such a case is on the very next tune, ‘Where There’s A Will’, which, as I said, was the tune released as a digital single last year. This tune has more of a HEAVY uplifting type of vibes and colour to it in comparison to the opener (I.e. saying things like, “it’s going to be okay” and “keep moving forward”), but it doesn’t get to the point where it sounds corny and actually, by its end, the tune is definitely one of the more sonically pleasing pieces to be heard on the whole of the album. And finally from the opening lot of songs is the finest of said bunch, the sublime ‘Nothing Comes Easy’. This tune - I was almost SURE that I’d heard it before and after researching it, what I found is that it just happened to appear on the Top Rated Riddim, which was a BIG underrated piece from a year or so ago. That thing is beautiful and it only sounds better supporting Tenna, with another tune urging determination from the masses - This time accentuating that PATIENCE is also a requirement in such an ideology.
I was very happy for myself that I’d been paying good enough attention to Bobby Tenna’s dealings that there turned out to be quite a few very nice songs with which I was fairly familiar throughout ”Words & Melody”. Besides the first three selections, there was the fourth, ‘Battlefield’, which is the most recognizable to me on the entire album due to the fact that it comes over the mighty 83 Riddim from Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor (and it was an official set, even appearing on the riddim’s album from Greensleeves). Having now REALLY vibed this tune for some time, I have to say that it is, lyrically, one of the most interesting sets from Bobby Tenna that I’ve heard altogether. It seems as if he’s saying to be firm and not to shy away from the ‘battlefield’, but it also seems as if he suggests that living a better life and a more faithful life to His Imperial Majesty can eliminate the need to live on said battlefield. I could really spend hours talking about a song like this and while you may not have a similar (ridiculously overactive brain) train of thought about it, you will most certainly be able to appreciate it from a most superficial level, at least, because it is beautiful as well. I also recognized the fifth tune on the album, ‘Nuff Nuh Mek It’, because it comes over the delicious Addiction Riddim from Flava Squad. I don’t actually know if I recall hearing it from the original batch of tunes on that excellent composition (which included efforts from the likes of Anthony B, Lutan Fyah and even Mad Cobra) or if the riddim, at this point, is so familiar to me that I just think I know. Whichever the case, here is another very strong tune which also speaks on self-determination and, ultimately, giving thanks for your ‘longevity’ because so many haven’t and won’t make it:
“The situation so critical
It vertical, it horizontal
It messing up the youths dem mind”
Rest assured I could WELL have a great time breaking down that passage (particularly that wonderful usage the of the term “ASYMMETRICAL” in that setting), but I’ll relent and just tell you to definitely take notice of the lyrics on this tune. ‘Children of The World’ is another song that I know from somewhere (where exactly? I couldn’t tell you) and it is a very nice piece as well. Somewhat ‘reserved’ and ‘bright’, but once again, it doesn’t drag into dealing with clichés and becoming stale and corny. It’s just a lovely vibes preaching against violence on the worldwide scales. I probably should also mention ‘Can I Take You Out’, which is, to my opinion, the only misstep on the album. The song is a remake of one of the final hits of American R&B great, Luther Vandross, and that original tune is definitely a COOL song to say the least. Bobby Tenna’s version, however, is average at best, although ultimately harmless and it’s not particularly set up as a feature of any sorts as far as I can tell, either. And finally, the last tune with which I was fairly familiar was ‘Just Like The Wind’, the first of two combinations on the album. This tune, which features I Wayne spar, Fire Starr (apparently Tenna and I Wayne’s entire camp are good friends as Bobby Tenna has done shows with the Portmore star in the States) (biggup Jessica) (and he also voiced Buzhrock on the Fugitive Riddim), comes through on the BIG Chemistry Riddim from Sons of Spoon. The tune is pretty much a UNITY track and it registers very highly on those channels with the duo, unsurprisingly making a big big duo to my opinion.
Still, with all that being said, not only my favourite moment, but my two favourites on ”Words & Melody” were two tunes which were both fresh and unheard by my ears. The biggest star of the album is the MASSIVE ‘Way Back’ which, after its Freddy Krueger/Jason Vorhees type of intro, eventually ascends into this HUGE and POUNDING trip to ‘back in the day’. You hear songs like this which are kind of lame and just seem to be an artist simply thinking out loud, but this one clearly has some bigger relevance than that as Tenna seems to want to lift the times gone by and bring them back today and if that isn’t possible (and it isn’t), he wants to, at least, apply some of the lessons learned at the time which he feels (correctly) are still applicable now. This one is definitely going to get the heads knocking, but hopefully you’ll take a moment to really give a deep listen to what is being said as well. BIG BIG tune. My second favourite song on the album comes later on in the form of the heavy praising song, ‘Deliver Me’. Should you want to call this one THE best tune on the album, I wouldn’t put up too much of an argument, none at all, because it is a GORGEOUS vibes and definitely it pushes a sentiment which lingers well after the final tune has spun.
As for the balance of ”Words & Melody”, it actually contains the tune which is certain to get the lion’s share of the attention on paper. That tune, ‘4 The Hard Way' features none other than Reggae superstars Anthony B and Capleton, as well as the late and great Garnet Silk alongside Bobby Tenna. Obviously the tune is kind of pieced together and it features vocals from the same Hard Nut To Crack Riddim over which it rides. It’s interesting how it’s carried out is so nice because you come away with one dominant theme for the entire song - Again, self determination - which is so rare on such a tune . . . Oh and between you and I, Anthony B definitely steals the show. Also check the kind of ‘funky’ 'Day & Night’, which is absolutely delightful and outside of ‘Can I Take You Out’ is the definitive changeup for the album (and one which will stay on your players for quite some time I imagine, just like mine). There’re the BIG old school vibed piece ’Give Thanx’ which, on title alone, had me thinking that it may be some type of renamed holdover from the first album, but it isn’t, thankfully. I’m even more thankful that the praising tune is EXCELLENT and although it’ll probably be ‘lost in the shuffle’, I don’t care, I LIKE IT! I’m also quite fond of ‘Blood Dat Dem Shed’, although it didn’t start out that way. Give this one a couple of spins or so to REALLY grow on you before you decide to pass on it because it grows into this kind of old school rub-a-dub type of Dancehall number which is downright dazzling by its end and there is a message within as well. The final tune on ”Words & Melody” ‘Better Place’ isn’t one of my favourites and it is VERY borderline sappy, but it too is harmless at its center and well before it even strikes in on the album, the point has been made. What point? This album is a very very good.
Overall, I’m very nearly THRILLED by how well this one turned out. I haven’t been as vocal in singing the praises of Bobby Tenna over the past couple of years in comparison to some of my other not so well known favourites, but that’s definitely about to change and it’s going to change on the strength of ”Words & Melody”. If you are a fan of modern Reggae, right now, it’s going to be REALLY difficult for me to imagine you not liking this release and, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not like Bobby Tenna is really doing anything out of the ordinary to gain you as a fan, but what he is doing is something well worth noting - As he does throughout this album. By no means is this the best album I’ve heard in 2010, but what ”Words & Melody” is, is a very solid and well carried out piece of Reggae music by a very impressive up and coming artist. Thankfully, I’m a fan of such situations. Thankfully, so are you. Well done.
Wile Fiya Inc
CD & Digital
BOBBY TENNA VIDEO '' WAY BACK '' REVIEW
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‘Way Back’ by Bobby Tenna [Directed by Wayne Benjamin] Wonderfully, next we have a video from a ...‘Way Back’ by Bobby Tenna [Directed by Wayne Benjamin]
Wonderfully, next we have a video from a personal favourite of mine as the BIG singer, Bobby Tenna, offers a video for a tune from his latest album release, ”Words & Melody”, ‘Way Back’. In my opinion this song was the best on the whole of that very solid album and the video, now that it materializes, is very impressive actually. The tune speaks of a kind of un-glamourized version of ‘the good old days’, talking the bad and the good, and the video shows that as well with the kids clearly suffering and going through bad times, but having fun at certain times still. The scenery is also pretty nice but, again, it’s not the type of presentation that you’ll find present in the first video on this post, this one goes after showing things in a more ‘dual’ type of setting which is definitely powerful in its case.
former cabaret singer Bobby Tenna steps out on disc
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Onetime cabaret singer Bobby Tenna is hoping to make the transition into mainstream reggae. He recen...Onetime cabaret singer Bobby Tenna is hoping to make the transition into mainstream reggae. He recently made his recording debut with the single Loneliness for producer Smiley Minott's Youth Promotions.
Since that recording, Tenna has recorded songs such as You Got My Love, Gonna Ride, Jah Is In Control and You, which was produced by Wildfire Inc and Nexus, an Oakland, California-based imprint.
In a recent interview, Tenna, whose real name is Robert Virgo, said the cabaret circuit helped him to bring his craft to perfection. "I did cabaret for six years, mostly on the Negril, the western side of the island. Doing cabaret helped me in terms of musical style as well as perfecting the craft. It was like a college to me," said Tenna.
Describing his style as dynamic, charismatic and pulsating, Bobby Tenna says his sound is filled with conscious vibes and innovative lyrics. "I plan to take music to a higher level. It's a blend of reggae, R&B and hip hop. I think it's really a unique sound," Tenna explained. That unique sound, he says, entertained audiences on the hotel circuit and motivated him to make the transition to the recording studio.
Originally from Orange Jamaica in St James, Bobby grew up in the church. It was his great-grandmother who discovered his passion for singing and enlisted him in the church choir.
He also did gigs in and around his community. The cabaret circuit was where he would then take his talent, performing almost nightly. He has even shared the stage with the likes of Beres Hammond, Yami Bolo and ET Webster.
Bobby has been working with Junior Fraser of Heavy D Records, One Love Family Production, House of Love label and his very own Fiyahart Promotions.
He has plans to shoot the video for his latest radio single Joy (which is available in record stores as a CD single). "I am now finishing my debut album, which is self-titled. I am looking at releasing it by the middle of this year. So far I have been working with Live Wyya and people like Danny Marshall," Bobby noted.
With his consciousness, positive outlook, and talent, Bobby Tenna is an artiste to keep an eye on.
Various Artists - '83 Rhythm
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It must be well over a year since Greensleeves released there last one rhythm album - this set is no...It must be well over a year since Greensleeves released there last one rhythm album - this set is not part of that series but it could be. Its good enough to be. A 14 track set featuring the likes of Richie Spice, Spanner Banner, Warrior King, Tony Rebel, Natural Black - and produced by Kemar McGregor. Its a one drop set that is works very well. The big hit on the rhythm is Queen Ifrica's 'Daddy' a reality song about child abuse. In the past reggae music lead the way in social comment - in recent years that as not been so evident - so this song is good on many levels. Another good tradition of the one rhythm albums is the new talent. Bobby Tenna sounds like he could go far and so could Teflon. Another welcome feature of this set is that its 14 tracks thats enough for most people, know matter how good the rhythm is!
The '83 Rhythm
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Newcomer Bobby Tenna impresses with "Battlefield" and veteran singjay Tony Rebel's "Caan Go RoRound ...Newcomer Bobby Tenna impresses with "Battlefield" and veteran singjay Tony Rebel's "Caan Go RoRound Good" is as solid (and as conscious) as his tunes always use to be. Guyanese singjay Natural Black is one of the most constant vocalists in the business, almost everytime delivering excellent tunes, this time the fierce repatriation tune "Vulgarity", followed by Arrows Recordings' protégé I-Octane who excels singjaying the harsh (but unfortunately true) "Poverty" and Lutan Fyah contributes a great tribute to our music with "Music Is Love".
SouljahI Green Beret Productions
Various - 83 Rhythm
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Various - 83 Rhythm Artist Various Title 83 Rhythm Label Greensleeves Format CD Release dat...Various - 83 Rhythm
14 Jan 2008
With nods to both Bob Marley’s So Much Trouble In The World and the catchy, low-bass, “one drop” rhythms of Don Corleon, Kema “Flava” McGregor’s 83 rhythm is a smooth but stirring affair that is typical of the direction in which JA music is headed right now. Yet despite bringing little that’s new or different to the table, it’s a solid, pleasant foundation to a tune, as demonstrated on this Greensleeves version album, where almost every song is a success.
Compilers tend to put the most accessible cuts first and this release is no exception. Here Richie Spice shows us why he can do almost no wrong on his smash A No Me Dat, featuring his hallmark vocal motif and lyrics that check the oft-covered reggae staple Luther Ingram’s If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right). Next up is big brother Spanner Banner with Roots, whose silky tones work just as well over the bitter sweet chords of this rhythm as on the blissful lounge vibes that have made his name.
Warrior King’s Love Love is strong but not outstanding, particularly when compared to the R&B flavour the 83 gets on Battlefield from the melisma-loving Bobby Tenna, who sounds like a more relaxed Lukie D. The dreaded vocoder is then brought into play for Tony Rebel’s singjay switching on Caan Go Round Good but is thankfully used only sparingly, in the manner of the tunes that pioneered its use.
With a stripped-down opening verse of just chords and percussion, followed by bass then drums, Vulgarity is perfect for Natural Black’s cracked shell of a voice, whereas I Octane’s Poverty comes in to bass alone with a full-on deejay reality lyric. The soft voiced incarnation of Lutan Fyah asks “what is music” through a “telephone receiver” filter before answering that Music Is Love. One of the most distinctive of the singjays, he is perhaps coasting a little here, but sometimes just the sound of his voice is enough. As ever the lyrics are top notch.
A smoky vocal from Queen Ifrica shows there’s more to her than robust chatting with the candid, haunting child abuse tale Daddy – perhaps the strongest offering of all. Then the explosive sounding Chuck Fenda creates a stark but effective contrast with the mood of the music on Heights, before a soft soulful turn from Turbulence (Ready Now), moving ever further towards being an R&B crooner and away from the eclectic experimentalism with which he wowed us in 2006.
The amusingly named Teflon – paradoxical given that he sticks to rhyming the word love with itself again and again during the first minute of the song – gives us a nice alternation between gruff, hushed vibrato and rapid fire deejaying on It’s Been A While, then Prestige takes us back to slightly more traditional “singing” (and that infernal vocoder again!) for Can’t Forget, before the version to end.
In truth, there are really no bad tracks on this disc, just a couple of so-so ones you’d be happy to nod along to in a dance; a testimony to the versatility of Kemar’s rhythm. Those looking to download on a budget will find the Spice, Tenna, Rebel, and Ifrica cuts most rewarding - but the whole CD is worth your while.
Reviewed by Angus Taylor
Top 25 reggae singles
bobby tenna ' WAY BACK " from the album WORDS & MELODY 2010 climbing the charts.
2 JUST MIGHT WANNA SAY
3 GAVE JAH MY HEART
4 RED ALERT
5 IN DI GIDDEON
6 NAH EASY
7 ZION GATES
8 U GOT MY LUV
9 JAH IN CONTROL
11 TAKING MY TIME
12 WHERE THERE'S A WILL
13 NUTTEN NUH COME EASY
15 GONNA RIDE
16 SHE GOT IT LIKE DAT
There are no upcoming dates at this time.