Love Joys

Lovers Rock (Reggae Style)

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For Love Joys' second album, producer Lloyd "Wackie" Barnes burnished the sound a bit, smoothing out the rootsy edges and mopping up some of the splashy reverb that had dominated Reggae Vibes and given it the sound of British lovers rock as recorded at the Black Ark. In their place are syndrums and synthesizers (though the bass and drums are still live and legendary hornsman Rolando Alphonso lends his inimitable saxophone to several tracks). The resulting sound alternates between a sturdy rockers version of romance (on "Long Lost Lover") and a mystical, rootsy version of lovers rock (on "Stranger" and "Let Me Rock You Now"). The album's weakest track is the duo's version of "One Draw," which opens it with a blast of synthetic overkill, but the remainder of the program is more richly nuanced and musically rewarding. True to its original subtitle, the album is presented in "showcase" style, with dub versions following immediately after the vocal mixes. Recommended.

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