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No Stress Express by Half Pint

No Stress Express by Half Pint

No Stress Express by Half Pint

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Reggae’s favorite liquid measurement is on track with new and varied sounds.

Sampler

Half Pint 2008 No Stress ExpressStill sporting the swooping, testifying voice that made songs like Greetings and Level the Vibes anthems of early dancehall, Half Pint cuts loose with an album that, true to its title, is relaxed and unpretentious while taking its musical journey.
His no-stress approach includes embracing a bit of unpredictability as well. Despite its subject matter, the title track is actually rather ominous-sounding, and both the plaintively conscious Unity that opens the disc and the romantic yearning of Never Let Go blend acoustic strumming with a steadily percolating feel that’s more Latin than Jamaican. And then there’s the semi-cover of the Cars’ My Best Friend’s Girl, (the choruses are similar to the original, the verses not so much) a fun romp that’s equal parts pop and ska.

All said and done, though, this is very much a reggae release. Half Pint’s vocals have mellowed some, and his delivery, not quite as flamboyant as in his early days, has an engaging voice-of-experience quality that nicely frames lover’s rock tunes (Just Be Good, Suzie, A Girl Like You) as well as roots sentiments (Bless Us, Children Of His Majesty, Babylon Release The Chain). The riddims- played by such notables as Sly and Robbie, Chris Meredith, Dwight Pinkney and Paul Crossdale -are pleasantly skittish in keeping with the easygoing feel and guest vocals by Sizzla, Dollarman and Jack Maness of Sublime add to an affair that’s righteous in tone when necessary but only when necessary.

Reggae music has always been one of the best stress relievers, and even the most uptight among us will find abundant relief in the lively livity of this disc.

Tags: Half Pint

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