Gregory Isaacs

Yesterday

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Most old-school reggae stars couldn't make the cut in the post-"Under Mi Sleng Teng" era of electronic dancehall reggae -- and, frankly, Gregory Isaacs doesn't always prove the exception. This 1997 album was produced and largely co-written by Bobby "Digital" Dixon, one of Jamaica's leading dancehall producers, best known for his work with the DJ Shabba Ranks, including the massive hit "Wicked in a Bed." Isaacs scored a couple of hits with Dixon off of earlier collaborations, but Yesterday is largely a rather tired retread of Dixon's previous successes with disinterested Isaacs vocals on top. Isaacs is easily one of the best vocalists in Jamaican pop music history -- some would argue that he's the best -- but Dixon's chittering electronic arrangements are so generic and boring that Yesterday might as well be a Maxi Priest album. That's not a compliment. Isaacs manages a handful of good performances, especially on the grooving single "Cutie Cutie," but, overall, Yesterday is less a disappointment than a disgrace.

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