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December 2001

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Latest CD release from Studio One

Quite a surprise! A Makdon/Clement Dodd co-production, this 18 track selection features a consistently excellent vocal performance from Carl McDonald over some driving original rhythms. So good to hear the horn section (courtesy Alonzo Cornell, Leroy Graham Jr and Smudge Smith) back in favour and driving the musical arrangements. I don't know about you, but I am getting a bit fed up with Coxsone simply re-cycling his old rhythm tracks (as good as they might be) with more new vocalists. It worked well enough for Sugar Minott, Johnny Osbourne and Freddie McGregor 20 years ago, but surely it is now time to move on. Maybe this is the album that will break the mould.

But don't believe the sleeve notes - the 18 tracks are spread over a generous 73 minutes (not the 68 minutes claimed), with the last 5 tracks being full-on instrumental/dub workouts of previous highlights.

Production values are generally excellent throughout, with supportive vocal harmonies and an appropriate use of rock guitar licks (something I would usually disapprove of). It is more than likely that this album is destined to become a little known (but eminently collectable) classic. It is unlikely to receive much (if any) mainstream airplay, and could easily disappear without trace. Buy a copy while you can (I got mine form Natty Rebel : nattyrebel@mindspring.com).

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AFRICAN COUNTRIES
Carl McDonald

Studio One CMCD 41234

African Countries; Heaven Musta Sent Cha; Brimstone And Fire; Harassment; Jah Is Coming; I Am Standing; Back To Africa; Star; Mystic Music; Satan Soldiers; Babylon Tradition; I've Gotta Have Ya; This Love Inside; Shooting Star; Get Up Jam; Jah Music; Ola Ola; African Countries Intl Mix