Bushman

Nyah Man Chant

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AllMusic Review by

Anyone who thought roots reggae was dead in the late 1990s had to have second thoughts upon hearing this album, the debut from an excellent young singer who calls himself Bushman. By any standard, this is a classic; a collection of Steelie & Clevie-produced tracks that use the technology of the 1990s to re-create classic rhythms and textures of the 1970s and 1980s (with the help of real live 1970s and 1980s musicians like Earl "Chinna" Smith, Dean Fraser, and Vin Gordon). There's a nice mix of musical styles here, from the archaic one-drop of the title track to the dubwise rockers of "Man a Lion" and the bubbling dancehall rhythms of "Rude Boy Life." Bushman himself is a fine and expressive singer with a rich, chesty voice and a style of delivery that rides every rhythm with ease while keeping emotive acrobatics to a minimum. Caveat emptor: the Greensleeves 25th-anniversary reissue has a note on the back cover indicating that the album's playing time is 70:38; in fact, it's 46:39. But since the reissue is sold at midprice, no one who is misled by the error is likely to get upset. Even at half the length, this would be an essential purchase for most reggae fans.

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