CD Review: Anthony B, Untouchable

by

Anthony B
[Togetherness Jamaica]

After a teasing year long wait, the much publicized ‘Untouchable’ album, the seventh to come from Rastafarian deejay Anthony B, produced by Togetherness Records CEO Christopher Kerr, hit the streets of New Kingston on October 3, 2004.

Joined by a host of entertainers, the free concert delivered astounding performances from Anthony B who ripped the plastic off his album. The hip hop-strained, rub-a-dub, rock easy, guitar-laced reggae compilation achieved its objective of breaking the deejay into a broader US/European market and lifting the roof with its party power. To this end, the ultimate enjoyment of the album was to see the artiste perform the tracks live.

‘Untouchable’, the first track, began initially as an intro or interlude project. Eventually the intro, which more sounds like a western movie sound track, took on its own identity. Brought alive by the lead guitar acoustics, genius Earl Chinna Smith is credited for the weeping guitar soundtrack. The other unmistakable sounds of the rhythm that inspired such undaunted words from Keith Anthony Blair a.k.a. Anthony B came from percussionist Alphonso Craig. And where would the balance come from if not for the angelic voices of Pam Hall and Leba Hibbert?

The geniuses got together again, this time recreating the popular lovers’ rockers, written by Charlie Pride, ‘Someone Loves You Honey’. It features the sweet sounds of Aisha giving the song a nectar effect inspiring the B to make “honey lyrics”. The single instantly became a hit and is heavily rotated both as a single and music video. To no surprise, the band on the stand consisted of, again the master Earl Chinna Smith, Robbie B line Shakespeare the taxi driver and the deft and dexterous saxophonist Dean Fraser. The fine tuning for the single was done by Daniel Lewis and Stephen Stanley.

Convincing enough to earn the interest and respect of former US presidential candidate John Kerry, ‘Soldiers’ features the preacher son Wyclef Jean and Anthony B’s first official introduction to the market that moves to fast and heavy basslines. The peace campaigning song, calling for a ceasefire and the return home of the soldiers in Iraq, employs the guitar skills of Paul Wrong Move Crosdale, Breezy and the adroit Wyclef Jean.

By ‘Lollipop’, the mood swing changes from the conscience pricking ‘Soldiers’ to the hip swinging of the Millie Small original. Then comes a Blaqthoven featured safe sex tribute. ‘Safe Sex’, the fifth track, is a bridge to the emotional high generated from the lighters blazing, hands waving, tumultuous cheering ‘Lighter’ remix featuring Bone Crusher and Wyclef Jean.

‘Untouchable’ only gets better with a hidden ingredient to its success in ‘Love I More’, following a serious yet hilarious skit, ‘Airport Experience’. The backing music of ‘Love I More’, has drums by Jammy James, percussion by Alphonso Craig, keyboard by Daniel Lewis, guitars by Earl Chinna Smith, caressed by the voices of back up singers Nikki Tucker, Leba Hibbert and Pam Hall.

The next big hit featured on the album is the hip hop, R&B crossed ‘What Would You Do?’ featuring Snoop Dogg. Before this, the Togetherness Records camp singer Richard ‘King Dove’ Morris is featured on ‘All The Way’. ‘Sweet For A Moment’ and ‘Jah Is There For I’ are two personal favourites for Anthony B and sure to gain patronage for the sentiments. With the hip hop flavoured ‘What Would You Do?’, ‘Untouchable’ marks another rung on the ladder to an ever growing career of Anthony B credited Togetherness Records head Christopher Kerr.

Known for his biting social commentaries, ‘Untouchable’ was not spared and the representation of a socially degrading system of oppression is challenged with the question ‘Who Is Gonna Help?’ the thirteenth track. Incidentally, the pleading children’s voices heard in the chorus, the Togetherness Kids, also include the children of producer Christopher Kerr. The CD is distributed by Togetherness Records, Pyramid Records, Universal Music and Video Distribution.

 




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