Surface: On Target

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You thought all reggae sounded the same? Try soca. Compared to soca, reggae is a kaleidoscope of rhythmic variety. That's not to say that soca isn't tons of fun; it's just that it's only one kind of fun. Luckily, it is pretty potent, and it's difficult to imagine anyone not getting a kick out of this album by Surface, a collective of singers that includes Nicole Greaves, Terry Seales, and (most prominently) Tony Prescott, all of them supported by a small horn section and synthesized drums and keyboard. The variety of singers is what saves this album from pounding tedium, and although Prescott is the marquee name here, it's Greaves that provides the most pleasure, with the tart "Hit the Road" and "Stroke." But Prescott does himself proud as well: the galloping "'Til Tomorrow" is a guaranteed party reviver, and "Flags" (which might puzzle American listeners outside of its West Indian context) is an irresistible Carnival anthem. It' s hard to imagine listening to this album from start to finish, but it will provide some great contributions to your car tapes.

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