VP Records has almost sneaked out the new album from veteran singer Luciano and United States of Africa does not seem to have received the same promotion as I-Ternal Fire by Capleton or sensation Romain Virgo’s self-titled debut.
The new album shows a tougher side of Luciano compared to the smooth Dean Fraser productions on Jah is My Navigator from 2008. This time the production duties is mainly handled by Frenchie from Maximum Sound and the rhythms are provided by some of Jamaican’s top musical talents – Sly & Robbie, Dean Fraser, Robbie Lynn and Mafia & Fluxy.
Frenchie utilizes some of his finest one drop rhythms. Among them I Know My Herbs, Vineyard Town and Zion Train. It also includes relicks of some great vintage rhythms, such as Creation Rebel, A Cup of Tea and the hard-hitting World A Music, probably best know for Welcome to Jamrock by Damian Marley. These strong rhythms combined with Luciano’s great voice is a perfect match.
On Luciano’s God is Greater Than Man album from 2007 he proved that he can handle rocksteady. On United States of Africa he proves it once again and actually even better this time. Moving On, produced by Chris Peckings, is a beautiful version of the Treasure Isle classic Only A Smile and makes a great soundtrack for the summer.
This is a powerful album that showcases Frenchie’s solid rhythms and Luciano’s vocal and lyrical capabilities. Don’t let this one slide.