Anthony B

Live on the Battlefield

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AllMusic Review by

Unlike most CDs that are basically soundtracks to a DVD, Anthony B.'s Live on the Battlefield stands up just fine on its own. Sure, you miss the high kicks and some of the other visual, crowd-pleasing moments that "Reggae's Greatest Freedom Fighter" is known for, but B.'s music and lyrics are solid and don't require video to excite. Crucial tracks like "Storm Winds," "Raid the Barn," and "Good Life" are delivered triumphantly, while slower greats like "Fire Pon Rome" and "Love or Infatuation" get to stretch out longer than their studio versions. B.'s effervescence is also turned up higher in front of an audience and he's often playful, pulling that false-start trickery that's common in reggae where fans are repeatedly teased by snippets of the big hits. The sloppy and gimmicky version of "Musical Fire" is the lone blunder, and if the track list runs a little long for the newcomer, it's doubtful longtime fans will lose interest. Judging from their enthusiastic reaction, the French audience captured here sure didn't, and the star and his band show no signs of exhaustion the whole way through.

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