Dillinger

Cornbread

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

As tasty as its title, Cornbread is one of those albums where everything seemingly clicks into place as if by magic, with artist, music, and production all combining to create a masterful album. Dillinger lets loose a wave of words filled with clever rhymes, non-stop toasts that sail along the rhythmic currents in a veritable deluge of wit and chatter. Surfing alongside him are Sugar Minott, Trinity, and Clint Eastwood, providing sweet backing and able sparring partners. The backing band, the Revolutionaries, is powered by Sly & Robbie's heavy, heavy rhythms, conjuring up a deeply rootsy sound that's kept bouncing by the brass, keyboards, and Earl "Chinna" Smith's ever-skittering guitar. Co-produced by Dillinger, Webster Shrowder, and Larry Sevitt, the sound is exemplary and the arrangements deft, giving the album a musical depth while keeping the toasts to the fore. Dillinger spouts on a variety of topics, including a tale of the jailed Rasta, "Dread Called Fred," a classic in steppers style. There are a pair of instructive songs aimed at younger fans, a toast on repatriation, an elucidation about the great man "Marcus Garvey" himself, and a couple of devotional numbers, all adding up to one powerful album. To round it all out there's "Animal Affair," a lighthearted version of the kiddie song that manages to throw a brassier sound into the menagerie, reminding listeners that the DJ hasn't lost his sense of humor. Dillinger's consistent ability to turn out strong sets (this was his second this year) was proof positive of his brilliance. But just in case later generations had doubts, the CD reissue tacks on "Cocaine in My Brain" and "Funky Punk" as added incentives to check this album out.

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