French Connection

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Perfect continues his musical progression with his second release for Irievibrations. French Connection is more consistent than Born Dead with Life; while his stylistic range is still considerable -- you'll hear hip-hop, acoustic soul, and funk, as well as roots and dancehall reggae here as he zeroes in on the areas of his greatest strength. His singing voice is still less than completely reliable, but the tasteful application of Auto-Tune (notice, in particular, the lovely "Step Away" and the brilliantly funky "Marijuana We Seh") helps him keep his pitch on target, and when he chants in a singjay style, the results are consistently very strong. "Bobo Spezial," a Babylon-conflagration fantasy, is built on an unstoppably raucous steppers rhythm and features what may be his most emotionally committed performance so far; the loping one-drop swing of "7 Is the Number (New Rims)" finds him alternating toasting with singing to very nice effect; "Son of Jamaica" blends crazy found sounds and samples into a spare but heavyweight hip-hop groove that he rides expertly. Guest vocals from Sizzla and Luton Fyah are a nice addition, but not really necessary -- Perfect is emerging as an artist who can carry the full weight himself. If he can get those nagging pitch issues resolved, he'll be poised to become a major force in international reggae.

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