The first thing to understand about Cool Down is that, like many other early reggae records, it has been issued a number of times by the same labels. Often the same songs are present but in a different order and with different artwork. Not that it's a particularly big deal, but a certain Clocktower LP pressing even credits Thompson as "Lindval," so look out for that if you think it might bother you. That having been said, this offering will likely not disappoint fans of rocker's reggae. Bunny Lee's "flying cymbal" production dominates the session and consequently the listener might recognize several of these cuts from dub compilations on Blood & Fire. "Black Princess Lady," for example, can be heard in dub form on Tapper Zukie's In Dub as "Rush I Some Dub" and it's downright difficult to find a dub record without a version of "Money Money." Generally speaking, though, this is not a dub record. Only the last song on each side is followed by a dub version. These are straight-ahead rockers with no frills and, depending on the pressing, rather muddy production. This can likely be avoided by purchasing it on CD -- but what fun is that. It is also worth mentioning that "Money Money" and "Blood Gonna Run," among others, find Robbie Shakespeare at his slippery and infectious best. Serious basslines throughout.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Brandon Burke