Niney the Observer

Suspicious Minds

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Jamaican producer Niney the Observer (Winston Holness) mentored with both Bunny Lee and Lee "Scratch" Perry, and in a way, his studio style as a producer could be called a hybrid of the two, retaining the tight airiness of Lee's work while stretching out a bit on occasion into edginess like Perry was apt to do, although Niney's material is generally closer to Lee's in style and temperament than to Perry's. This generous set collects 19 of Niney's productions, including the Heptones' smoothed-out version of "Suspicious Minds," a loose and joyous remake of "Train to Skaville" by Leonard Dillon's Ethiopeans, the Wailing Souls' poignant "War Everywhere," Justin Hinds' moving and delicate "Rain Drops," and the Mighty Diamonds' gorgeous "Don't You Go Away," among others. The sound is both bright and tight on these cuts and the rhythms have a natural and necessary immediacy, although nothing here is particularly innovative.

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