Glen Washington

Solitary Red Rose

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AllMusic Review by

Despite occasional appearances on the reggae charts -- most notably with his late-'70s smash hit "Rockers No Crockers" -- and a successful stint as a studio and touring drummer, Glen Washington has struggled to keep his name on the reggae radar screen since his move to the U.S. in 1982. But his recordings are out there and are not impossible to find. This collection was recorded at Brooklyn's Ruff Stuff studio with producer Junior (Baugh) Ewart, and it finds Washington bringing his sweetly gruff voice and emotional delivery to bear on a set split almost evenly between yearning declarations of romantic devotion and finger-wagging admonitions to Babylon, all supported by a winning blend of top-notch digital and analog rhythms. No song on this album is less than good, though "Winner" and a so-so cover of the Whispers' "If Only You" don't rise much above that level. The best tracks on the album, however, are excellent: the aching title track, the gentle and elegant one-drop groove of "Crazy World," and the sternly admonitory "Harvest Time." There are several dub versions, all of which, with the exception of the very nicely realized "Crazy World" dub, are pleasant but not especially inspired. Overall, this album offers a welcome opportunity to catch up on the work of one of reggae's most unjustly neglected singers.

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