Although this is his debut album, Natty Remo (who recorded in the 1990s as Captain Remo) has been working regularly on the New York and Jamaican sound system scene since the mid-'80s. On this generously packed program his experience as a chatter is most clearly and impressively felt; as a singer, he still has a few rough edges. The album's opening track and a sharp DJ turn on "Robbery" both find him at his strongest, as do the nice combination track "Chop a Lawn" (with singer Manna Panna) and the powerful old-school dancehall number "Wrong Babylon" (which is also performed in combination with singer Yah Breeze). When he takes the mic as a lead singer, things start to fall apart a little bit: his reggae adaptation of the Beatles' classic "Can't Buy Me Love" is a disaster, his singing consistently and badly off pitch, and the same is true on an otherwise enjoyable soca number titled "You're My Lover." On "Champion Sound," however, he delivers a fine singjay performance that is mostly in tune and is consistently rhythmically impressive. Skip over the weaker tracks, and you still end up with a solid album's worth of top-notch material. Recommended.
Babylon Fall Review
by Rick Anderson