Tanto Metro & Devonte

Musically Inclined

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The DJ/singer duo format has a long and venerable history in reggae music, and with good reason: when a musical genre depends as much as reggae does on small distinctions to maintain listener interest, a dramatic midsong switch from sweet loverman crooning to gruff toasting can count for a lot. Tanto Metro and Devonte pick up where the wildly successful Chaka Demus and Pliers left off, alternately singing and chatting lyrics dealing primarily with women and partying over up-to-the-minute dancehall rhythms provided by a slew of A-list producers including, in this case, Tony "CD" Kelly, the Shocking Vibes crew, and Morgan Heritage. The duo's basic limitation is what you'd expect it to be: an almost tunnel-vision focus on booty that threatens to make the album's 17 tracks run together into an undifferentiated dancehall leer. What saves them are the rhythms, which occasionally fail to rise above the utilitarian ("What You Want Me to Do," "In There") but frequently redeem the pedestrian lyrics with beats that are both innovative and irresistible ("Cross the Border," "So Fine," the gorgeous "Everytime You Find Love"). The guests are well chosen and all in fine form, particularly Courtney Melody on an update of his "Cross the Border," and the duo gets an extra half star for calling out unsmiling rude boys on "We No Skin Teeth." Recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:23 SpotifyAmazon
2 3:10 Spotify
3 3:38 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:32 SpotifyAmazon
5 3:16 SpotifyAmazon
6 3:51 SpotifyAmazon
7 3:54 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:58 Spotify
9 2:59 SpotifyAmazon
10 4:01 SpotifyAmazon
11 3:23 SpotifyAmazon
12 4:16 Spotify
13 3:58 SpotifyAmazon
14 3:47 SpotifyAmazon
15 4:08 SpotifyAmazon
16 4:31 SpotifyAmazon
17 3:47 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick