Fat Eyes

Dancehall Deelite

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

It's a little strange to see a Heartbeat release with this kind of skanky cover art; what with the bodacious half-naked model and glitzy graphic design on the cover, this compilation looks much more like an installment in VP's Strictly the Best series than what it actually is -- a collection of primarily "conscious" modern roots and dancehall tracks that includes contributions from some of the most militantly devout figures in contemporary reggae. If you're looking for slackness, you'll be disappointed. Instead, you're going to be called to repentance by Sizzla ("Living Colors") and Capleton ("Hidden Secrets"), preached to sweetly by Luciano ("Roll Away") and Morgan Heritage ("I Will Not Wait"), and gruffly told to "Wise Up" by Junior Reid (who is not in very good voice here, but is ably supported by various members of UB40). There are both disappointments and pleasant surprises to be found here: Half Pint sounds better than he ever has on the very fine "Children of His Majesty," and there is a spectacular combination track near the end of the program that features both Culture and Trinity. Fiona and Ghost offer a much less exciting combination performance on the low-rent lovers rock of "Slowly." But the album's high point comes right smack in the middle, with a brilliant turn by the veteran rootsman Michael Rose on "Rough Life." The Fat Eyes rhythms range from quite good to exceptional, though the two lackluster dub tracks at the end bring the album to an unsatisfying conclusion. Overall, not bad at all.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:46
2
feat: LMS
3:44
3
feat: Sizzla
3:29
4
feat: Luciano
3:58
5
feat: Half Pint
3:32
6
feat: Capleton
3:50
7 3:48
8
feat: Michael Rose
3:55
9 4:01
10
feat: Buju Banton
3:46
11
feat: Elephant Man
4:08
12
feat: Junior Reid
3:44
13 3:48
14 4:47
15 3:46
16 3:41
17
feat: Culture / Trinity
3:52
18 3:56
19 3:35
blue highlight denotes track pick