Linval Thompson

Look How Me Sexy

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Linval Thompson's production career has long overshadowed his work as a vocalist, which is a shame, because Thompson is a fine singer and an exceptional songwriter. He began recording in his teens during the roots era, unleashing fabulous cultural numbers that still have the power to impress. As musical fashions shifted in the new decade, culture ebbed, but by then Thompson had already established himself as a formidable producer. His dubby style was quite similar to Henry "Junjo" Lawes, not surprising considering that Lawes' first production was in conjunction with Thompson, and both utilized the Roots Radics as their backing band. The differences are subtle, with Lawes creating a somewhat brighter sound than Thompson. Listeners can work out the rest for themselves on Look How Me Sexy, comparing the fabulous Lawes-produced title track to the rest of this flawlessly self-produced set. With culture in sharp decline, Thompson turned his attention to more personal matters, yet he still offered up thought-provoking numbers. "Baby Mother" defies the current climes with its chiding of those who would take advantage of a young, single mom. Equally startling is "You're Young," wherein the singer attempts to convince a willing schoolgirl to return to her own bed. The title track, too, is a surprise, not a proud boast but a plaintive plea to keep his girl from leaving. Across a host of gorgeous, delicate love songs and the dread roots of the sizzling "I Spy," Thompson showcases his own gentle vocals to their best advantage. Regardless of the Radics' simmering backings and his own hefty, dubby productions, Sexy has a wonderfully delicate quality that sets the whole luminescent set aglow. A masterpiece from a star producer and underrated singer.