The Heptones

Rainbow Valley

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Although this brief album by the Heptones -- Rainbow Valley -- has some delightful tracks ("Tougher Than the World," "Head On Straight," and a remake of Naggo Morris' "Susu Pan Rasta"), it feels like it lacks any clear vision and proves a far cry from their classic-'70s work. The decision to record a version of Tommy James' "Crystal Blue Persuasion" was certainly ill-advised, since the sugary original is here rendered as flat confection. The trademark Heptones harmonies are still intact, though, and that should appease die-hard fans, but casual listeners would be better served by sampling the group's classic early material.

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