Cocoa Tea

Tek Weh Yuh Gal

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Sweet-voiced dancehall singer Cocoa Tea has released nearly 30 albums since the mid-'80s, although his pace has slowed down somewhat since he started his own label, Roaring Lion, in 1998. Tek Weh Yuh Gal is pretty much a party album, combining sweet love songs, jesting bravado, and a sprinkling of conscious themes into an infectious, melodic pop sheen. With veteran Jamaican session musicians like saxophonist Dean Fraser and percussionist Bongo Herman on board, Tea produced this one himself, adding DJs Anthony B, Sizzla, and Cutty Ranks for roughness on "Dance Hall Nice," "Pass It Over," and "True Love" respectively. But the best tracks are the ones where Tea breaks out the smooth operator persona, pouring sugar on impossibly catchy tracks like the title tune (a huge international hit on the reggae charts), "Have It Fi Mi," and "Love Don't Go Away," which features short, effective horn blasts by Fraser. "Revolution," "Pie in the Sky," and "Red Now" are the roots offerings this time around. Tek Weh Yuh Gal doesn't break any new ground, and isn't as impressive as the Rasta-fueled Israel's King, but it is a remarkably balanced and joyous affair, well paced and infectious.

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