Louis Atlas' debut, Beat of the Heart, captures the initial rebellious essence of reggae and injects a unique interpretation of R&B, blues, jazz, calypso, and ragga into the mix to effect a disc that oozes with crossover appeal. Strong on melody and expert musicianship, Atlas is on a spiritual journey of self-discovery with songs that detail romance, injustice, and redemption. Whether he's trying to seduce his subject ("Little Suzie"), lamenting love lost ("You Loved Me Once"), or railing against oppression ("Stop the Killing," "Stamp out Hate"), Altas brings a genuine joy to the music he creates. Atlas' stellar supporting cast is deserving of accolades. Producer Christian Cassan's fresh live-in-the-studio mix bursts from the speakers and the band's tasteful interplay and tuneful solos compliment Atlas' relaxed legato vocal phrasing on each cut. Beat of the Heart affects the heart, piques the intellect, and its grooves invigorate the soul. What more can anyone ask of a reggae album?
AllMusic Review by Tom Semioli