Bitty McLean

It Keeps Rainin': The Best of Bitty McLean [Trojan]

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With his warm and gentle vocal style and classic lovers rock approach to his material, Britain's Bitty McLean was somewhat of an antidote to the phobic slack attitude of much of dancehall reggae in the mid-'90s, and if this made him appear at the time like a lightweight on the scene, he stuck to the high road. The result, as this 17-track best-of anthology shows, is refreshing in its classic clarity of vision. Included are his 1994 hit covers of the Shirelles' "Dedicated to the One I Love" and Fats Domino's "It Keeps Rainin'," as well as a fine version of Justin Hinds' "Here I Stand" and a couple of his own compositions. Unassuming to a fault, McLean's approach makes him somewhat of a throwback in a hip-hop dancehall world, but it also gives his material an instant nostalgic familiarity, and it's clear that he loves what he does. [Trojan's version of this release adds two additional tracks, covers of Justin Hinds' "Over the River" and Leroy Sibbles' "Stop This World."]

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