(Jacaranda Limited / Cooking Vinyl)
UB40 formed way back in 1978 and after countless hits, lead singer Ali Campbell left the group back in 2008 and has been putting out consistently great reggae albums, and hear is another winner. This album has the added benefit of not just Campbell from UB40, but now also includes Mickey Virtue and Astro making this closer to a true blue UB40 album than ever before.
As soon as you start to listen to the album, you can hear the joyful sounds and emotions coming from the grooves that the band is laying down. I personally love their Beatles cover of “Any Time At All,” the opening track on this album and ear worm like no other. The band just puts out a vibe of happiness and energy that is infectious on that track. The next song is the title track and was originally a 1957 hit for the American doo-wop group The Rays and is fantastic. The album also has covers of songs by The Chi-Lites, and Bob Dylan and gives them a nice update, just like Campbell did with UB40 back in the ‘80s with their tasteful covers of Elvis, Sonny and Cher and Neil Diamond. Ali’s voice remains as strong as ever – rich, melodic and instantly recognizable to your ears and makes you feel comfortable and happy, as well as Astro lending strong vocal support and Mickey’s keyboards brought to the fore in a new band that includes a three-piece horn section, their sound should delight fans old and new. There is just song after song that makes this one of the best reggae albums that I’ve heard in years, everything is played with passion, the song choices are amazing and it just brings back the time that I saw UB40 in concert back in the ‘90s and just danced and swayed all night long to the music.
If you have missed UB40 and want to hear a group of guys giving their all and songs that you will play over and over again, then this is the album for you. It is such a beautiful and excellent collection that I get shivers and don’t want the grooves to end. (Rick Ecker)
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