Ups and downs on Torch’s debut album

Jamaican producer and owner of Penthouse Records Donovan Germain has been instrumental in launching several artists from his native island. One of the latest to come forward with an album is Torch, who has been recording since the late 90’s, and has been associated with Donovan Germain’s label for about a decade.

Torch’s Ever Burning Flame was supposedly intended to be released a long time ago, but was postponed, and is since late September available as digital download. It collects 16 tracks – some previously released as singles or on compilations – with Donovan Germain’s signature sound, meaning grand arrangements, sweet back-up vocals and put-your-lighter-in-the-air choruses.

Torch delivers his heartfelt lyrics aimed directly at women with assurance, but unfortunately he suffers from pitch problems from time to time, and he is at his very best when singing more aggressive and up-tempo, for example tracks such as Real Love Nuh Deh Again on the Go Fi Her riddim and High Seat on the No Money riddim. No Escape would have been a real gem, but it’s a bit ruined thanks to an annoying rock guitar during the chorus.

Ever Burning Flame is not a perfect debut, but if Torch corrects his pitch he will probably be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

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