The Heptones

Reggae Classics

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The Heptones have been one of the greatest Jamaican harmony trios since the mid-'60s, and while none of their albums is without redeeming tracks, they seem to have run out of gas on this one, a set that has been released under various names over the years, including under the title Good Vibes (from Prestige in 2002) and here from Rhythm Club as Reggae Classics. All the selections are based around synthesized drums and instrumentation, and while the group's trademark harmonies are still intact, the rhythms and backing tracks seem lifeless and processed past the point of any real vitality. The remakes here of Paul Anka's "Diana" and Dobie Gray's "Drift Away" have some momentary life, but as a whole, this sequence comes nowhere near the level of excellence that the Heptones have stood for over the years. Casual listeners should check out one of the classic early albums (like Night Food or Party Time) before going anywhere near this one in any of its various incarnations.

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