Sanchez

Number One

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Though not terribly well-known in the U.S., Sanchez was a wildly popular dancehall crooner in Jamaica when this album was released. It features seven perfectly serviceable original tunes and two Tracy Chapman covers, including his hit version of "Baby Can I Hold You." Sanchez sings sweetly and warmly, delivering tried-and-true loverman clich├ęs like "Here I Am" and "I'm Waiting" with enough good-natured charm to make them sound fresh. The production by Philip "Fatis" Burrell sounds a bit dated today, but it's a good example of the computer sound that formed a sonic bridge between the more organic dancehall groove of the early '80s and the harder, hip-hop-derived style that predominated in the '90s. Highlights include "Place Mash Up" (with DJ Flourgon) and the lovely "Praise Jah." The CD adds four dub versions as bonus tracks. Interestingly, none of them seems to duplicate any of the versions found on Number One Dub, a dub version of the entire album which came out on the cassette-only ROIR label at the same time.

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