Mass Out

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Although it was his work with King Jammy that really broke Pinchers into the big time, the singer had recorded some quite notable work along with a number of hits during the mid-'80s. Mass Out was produced by Philip "Fatis" Burrell, one of the first albums he oversaw, and a masterful set it is. With musical backing provided by Sly & Robbie, pianist Jackie Mittoo, guitarist Danny Thompson, and synth players Robby Lynn and Tony "Asher" Brissett, the rhythms are superb, and Burrell gives these classic backings an almost breezy quality that provides the perfect template for the singer. Pinchers brought a sense of excitement to all the songs here, and an almost breathless quality to his delivery. Of course the title track, a major hit single in Jamaica, left everyone out of breath with its hyper speed and tongue-twisting rhyming lyrics -- a real stunner in a day when most of the island's DJs kept a more stately vocal pace. Jamaicans were also taken by his plaintive demand for a "Grammy," while "Nothing No Deh" paired him with Frankie Paul. However, it was Pinchers' vocal versatility that amazes, be it the rapid-fire "Mass Out," his pinched adenoidal vocals on "Christian Lady," or his sweet tenor that soars and swoops around "Meant to Be"'s melody; equally good is the jaunty "Pot of Coffee," with its sparkling musical accompaniment. Many of these rhythms were extraordinarily popular in the day, "Nothing," for example, had previously backed Barrington Levy's "Prison Oval Rock," but Pinchers made it his own. A superb album, and although even greater heights were scaled when the singer linked with producer King Jammy, his work here as just as enjoyable.

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