Bunny Rugs

Talking to You

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Bunny Rugs had been with Third World for 19 years when he recorded his first solo project, Talking to You, which wasn't a radical departure from his work with that popular band. Best known for its 1978 remake of Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia soul classic "Now That We Found Love," Third World had a reputation for being more R&B-minded than a lot of other reggae bands -- in the U.S., many of the people who bought Third World's albums were R&B fans who didn't necessarily know a lot about reggae but had a casual interest in it. So it comes as no surprise that Talking to You doesn't cater to reggae's hardcore. A diverse effort, this decent to excellent release ranges from the apolitical lovers rock of "Gloria" and "Hearts on Fire" and the more socio-political reggae of "War, War, War" and Desmond Dekker's "Shanty Town" (one of the best known reggae gems of the early 1970s) to the outright R&B of "That Feeling," "Nowhere to Run," and "That's How I Feel." The CD's R&B selections, in fact, point to the fact that if Rugs (who also pleases on remakes of "Now That We Found Love" and Ben E. King's "Stand by Me") had pursued a career in R&B instead of reggae, he might have been a major R&B star. But as much as Talking to You has going for it, the CD won't win over those weren't fans of Rugs' work with Third World -- with this album, the Jamaican singer successfully preaches to the choir.

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