Barrington Levy

This Is Crucial Reggae: Barrington Levy

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Though the arrival of Barrington Levy as a force on the Jamaican music scene in the early 1980s slightly predated the advent of dancehall-style reggae, the singer was quick to adopt the new rhythms as his own. Hits such as "Here I Come," with its insistent, herky-jerky rhythm, and "Under Mi Sensi," which spawned a host of soundalikes, quickly followed. Levy's popularity has endured over the years, and his versatility is made apparent on this volume of the CRUCIAL REGGAE series. The disc spans a slice of the singer's '80s output, from the early, career-making hits "Mary Long Tongue," with its classic Sly and Robbie rhythm, and "Prison Oval Rock," where Levy's trademark wail is displayed to its best advantage against a cool, spare production, to the Bounty Killer-accompanied dancehall pop of "Living Dangerously" and the brooding, low-key classic reggae of "Hypocrites."

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