My first encounter with Jamaican singer Ray Darwin was through BMC’s excellent reggae mixes. First the People’s Choice mix in 2007 and then the celebratory (Nothing can Touch) My 45 mix in 2009. Both named after the Ray Darwin tunes by the same names.
Even though both tunes received great response when issued Ray Darwin hasn’t been over exposed at all. He has actually been rather quiet over the years. Until now.
His debut album with its boisterous title People’s Choice reached the streets on July 19th.
It compiles 15 tracks recorded in Germany, Italy, Jamaica and the U.S and is produced by Ray Darwin himself, sometimes with a little help from Piet Abele, Rootical Records, Philip Meckseper and Lloyd Campbell.
The latter is also responsible for putting out People’s Choice through Joe Fraser Records, a label recognized for some fine lovers rock and roots reggae.
People’s Choice gathers both relicks and original riddims. The former includes the title track, a version of the Mean Girl riddim originally recorded at Studio One, and New York Minute, a superb cut of The Wailing Souls Jah Give Us Life.
Therefore it’s a shame to ruin the singing with auto-tune, which is the case on the strong album opener Time Flies.
Despite the too heavy use of auto-tune on some tunes, this is a strong album that needs your support. Do I as do and give Ray Darwin your vote.