It's difficult to truly assess Feel Good All Over because of its very premise, which is to present thirty-some songs, most of them well-known classics, including a smattering of singer Winston Francis' own signature tunes, in one long, continual medley over what is essentially the same rhythmic backdrop. The end result manages to be slightly irritating, eventually quite boring, and yet, all the same, pretty amazing, mostly due to Francis' strong, clear vocal style, which somehow makes the whole thing not sound like one big reggae commercial. Produced by Tony "Ruff Cut" Phillips and featuring his Ruff Cutt Band, the sound of Feel Good All Over is solid and thick, but that's before you realize there's precious little variation in rhythm (which is obvious by the third track), and the task of making this thing work falls to Francis, who is too good a singer to ever sing anything badly. Here he manages to give the illusion that the band is actually playing 31 different songs through the sheer confidence of his vocals. Among the highlights that blow by are revisits to some of Francis' Jamaican hits, including "Feel Good" (which he originally voiced while a member of the Mellotones) and his signature song, "Mr. Fix It," along with several covers, including Wilson Pickett's "Midnight Hour," Bob Andy's "I've Got to Go Back Home," and Delroy Wilson's "I'm Not a King." Francis is certainly no stranger to covers, since two of his biggest hits were a Studio One version of Joe South's "Games People Play" and a late-'90s cover of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" (neither of which is touched on here), but asking a singer (even a very good one like Winston Francis) to do a medley of cover songs over forty-plus-minutes of essentially unchanging rhythmic backing (even if it sounds thick and solid) without a break in sight is asking for too much. And in the end, too much is what Feel Good All Over delivers.
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