Gregory Isaacs

Reasoning With the Almighty

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This is a perfectly serviceable collection of classic tracks from Gregory Isaacs, a singer and songwriter who was, at one time, as popular in Jamaica as Bob Marley. The 20 songs on this compilation come from a number of excellent Isaacs albums, most notably Mr. Isaacs, eight of whose ten tracks appear here. The remaining 12 tracks come from his work with various producers and labels, and tend to focus more on his truth-and-rights material than on the lover's laments that have been his bread and butter for decades. Highlights include "Rasta Business," a defiant political anthem delivered in Isaacs' trademark cool croon; the romantic "Something Nice"; and "Mr. Cop," an unusual instance of Isaacs recording in Lee "Scratch" Perry's famous Black Ark studio (though apparently under the supervision of a different producer). All in all, this collection makes a fine introduction to Isaacs' work during what was probably his most productive and consistent period.

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