Louchie Lou and Michie One
Louchie Lou and Michie One, the UK ragga super duo, are back again with a new album, “Seven Years of Plenty,” on the Interscope record label. These two women come with a full range of styles and the album is saturated with dancehall, pop, soul and hip-hop. They have tight harmonies, as they pass effortlessly from experienced soul vocals to passionate dancehall toasting, keeping both styles balanced throughout the album.
Louchie Lou and Michie One, though a newer sound in the U.S., are no strangers to the music business having been on the scene since the early 90s. They have scored hits with songs “Shout” (an Isley Brothers tune) and “If I were a Rich Girl” (a controversial reworking of the song “If I were a Rich man” from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”). These two have also worked with Sly and Robbie, QDIII (Quincy Jones son), and Mykael Riley of Steel Pulse, to name a few.
On their new album their sound is polished and well produced, full of smooth grooves, hard hitting beats and sweet vocals. If searching for a purely dancehall style album, this is not the place to look because of their incorporation of so many genres of music.
They begin with “Dynamite” an explosion of sound as they exclaim they are going to “blow it up” and yes, “tear it up.” The album moves along at this pace until halfway into the play list as they slow it down with the pop groove, “Body Rock” and then the love-me-down feel of “Goody Goody Love.” The latter is especially sweet with the sound of an organ dancing sweetly in the background, accenting every vocal line.
Another smooth soul/hip hop groove worth a second listen is the track, “Good Sweet Lovin’,” reminiscent of the beats on Redman’s “I Smoke Weed Too Much.” On this one, Louchie Lou and Michie One sing of great sensations and sweet lovin’.
On the track, “Outcast” these two delve into the always controversial and enigmatic issue of race relations as they quote Haile Selassie with, “until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes” then there will always be war. Bob Marley also made these lines famous on his song, “War” from the “Rastaman Vibration” album. On “Outcast” these powerful words are matched with lilting bass lines, Spanish guitar, and timbale hits.
“Seven Years of Plenty” is certainly a danceable album and is worth checking out, especially if you like a mix of many styles of music, which these two ladies tackle.