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BB Seaton Is Ready For The World

BB Seaton Is Ready For The World

BB Seaton Is Ready For The World

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Some melodic old-school reggae with strong musicianship for BB new album.


Born in Kingston, BB Seaton has enjoyed a long career as a vocalist, musician and writer firmly in the reggae mainstream, most notably in his early years with vocal trio The Gaylads and subsequently as a well-respected solo performer. Like many early reggae singers he was strongly influenced by American R and B and soul but his main legacy has been working in the rocksteady tradition, his pedigree including work alongside some of reggae’s finest - such as Delroy Wilson and Ken Boothe - in Jamaica’s leading studios, including his time at Studio One.

A new album from one of reggae venerable father figures might create the expectation of something musically worthy but maybe not too interesting – MOR for the traditional reggae audience. But such expectations would be misplaced as this music is for the most part sharp and immediate. This new release from Roots International finds BB in fine voice supported by an illustrious assembly of musicians including none other than Ansel Collins and Sly Dunbar. It opens with Life Goes On, a classic roots song of passion and praise, with a production sound reminiscent of the Joe Gibbs style of the 1970s. This is followed by Hotter the Battle, more contemporary in content and feel, while Nuh Bada Wid It is an unexpected combination of antique Isley Brothers-style electric guitar, brisk percussion unusual in reggae, and a background synth instrumentation. Described thus it shouldn’t really work, but it is strangely interesting. Clearly BB isn’t worried about trying something different.

Other songs are more mainstream, although this isn’t necessarily a criticism: Emancipation Time Again is roots music in the Marley tradition and a fine strong song. A track like Are U Really is bass-heavy straighahead reggae, expertly delivered.

This is melodic old-school reggae with strong musicianship and the production from BB Seaton and Errol Brown is excellent throughout. It is has the feel of something recorded today rather than 30 years ago and is well worth the attention of audiences beyond BB Seaton’s traditional constituency.

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