The Paragons

Riding High with the Paragons

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Riding High With the Paragons is an expectedly soulful set. No frills, no hidden punches, just great rocksteady reggae performed by some of the most heavenly voices on the island. The Paragons' three-part harmonies are, this time, augmented by the addition of Roslyn Sweet, who helps round off the masculine tenors with a feminine touch. For that reason, fans of the popular Alton and Hortense Ellis recordings will find much to like about this set as well. Like the Ellises, the Paragons borrowed rather heavily from the Detroit R&B sound and comparisons to, say, the Four Tops wouldn't be out of the question. Particularly inviting are the tunes where Sweet carves her own path through the syncopated harmonizing. Her call-and-response additions to "Unforgettable You" make it, perhaps, the highlight of the record. Also of note is a version of a the Beatles' "Blackbird," which appears here as "Blackbirds Singing." Overall, a very strong set of characteristically muddy sound quality, which adds just the right touch of mystery and soul.

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