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Half Pint Delivers a Stress-Free Ride

May 16, 2008

Jamaica Observer logo

Half Pint delivers a stress free ride
from Jamaica Observer
Nicholas Richards
Friday, May 16, 2008

Album CoverThe sounds of No Stress Express, the 17th album by singer Half Pint, released by Universal Music, delivers 16 tracks of pure conscious reggae tunes. From the first song entitled Unity, he takes you down a stress free road of cool, calm reggae music.

In it, he goes back to the early days when this genre of Jamaican music was just finding form, when it was true, a time before the music had diverted from its roots to the violent and at times unwholesome lyrics.

On No Stress Express, Half Pint sings about love, romance, unity and the struggles within the rough inner-city areas, themes for which reggae music became known and appreciated.

Special mention must be made of the third track on his album, Just Be Good, which was done twice on the CD. This track is, simply put, a wonderful creation, one that is reminiscent of the reggae music of old. One where the sound, the words and the instrumentals soothe the heart and capture the mind. It is a sound the traditional reggae music lovers will never be able to get enough of. Originally produced by Beres Hammond and Harmony House Production, Just Be Good should bring back memories to the older folk, and give young listeners something to appreciate. After all, this one is a classic.

And if that was not enough, Suzie and My Best Friend’s Girl provide the icing on the cake for the lovers rock fans. This icing does in no way cloy the appetite. Rather, what these songs do is that they turn you into an addict, in that it leaves you yearning for more. And the more you get is the more you want, just like Suzie.

Born Lindon Roberts, Half Pint emerged on the reggae scene in the early 1980s, and has worked with top notch producers such as, King Jammy and Prince Jammy. During this time he released songs entitled Greetings, Winsome, Victory and Mr Landlord. These are among his more popular tunes, which invariably laid the groundwork for his future success, the latest being his present compilation.

Another recording which stands out is, Bad Boy, where he collaborates with powerhouse deejay Sizzla Kalonji, to produce arguably one of the best tracks on his CD. The song entitled Bad Boy starts out “… bad boy in the street and we have no food to eat, and when life should be sweet it’s a tragedy.” Sizzla then interjects with, “we looking for a way out, sufferation got to stay out.” Such sounds come from a truly mystical place, and the duo does much to convey this message with an eclectic mix of traditional reggae, as it pertains to Half Pint, and a retro dancehall style in the way Sizzla delivers his half of the rendition.

One should also mention that his album made a wonderful move when it omitted the computerised noises which are so prevalent in many reggae album releases today. By doing this Half Pint remains true to his roots, natural, cool and devoid of those excessively amplified tones. As such, the artistes true voice, and persona comes out.

The instrumental is also very good, it is dominated by Dwight Pinkney’s guitar riffs, and the easy-going drumming of Donovan Watson. Paul Crossdale and Christopher Meredith add to the sweet one-drop rhythms, and the keyboards sound is also phenomenal.

It is one that anyone can listen to, virtually anywhere, in the car, while cooking or when on a family outing, or when feeling stressed. This album should be good for that album collection of reggae classics.

Overall a B+ effort.

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