Jamaican rugged crooner Richie Spice’s latest album is a 15-track unplugged set. Well, almost anyway. The bonus track Agony is electrified journey into the 80’s soul scene and keyboard is used throughout the album, especially apparent in My Heart, which has a hard keyboard intro, reminiscent of European electronica.
Otherwise Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is an unplugged affair and mixes classic reggae with rock, country & western, gospel, jazz and nyabinghi.
The initial single Free is one of the standout tracks, which borrows a bit from the Viceroys’ classic Ya Ho, and has Richie Spice’s expressive voice over just an acoustic guitar, nyabinghi drums and a dreamy keyboard.
Soothing Sounds collects previously released material in a new setting and some new tracks, one of them being the aforementioned Free. Richie Spice sings convincingly about love and romance, but he also deals with socially-conscious questions.
There are some annoying sound effects, such as pouring water, which ruins a track like Get Up, and the audio quality on My Girl is below par.
Generally, however, Soothing Sounds is a fine set of easy-going sounds and it also showcases Richie Spice’s talent as a producer.
Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is now available on CD from selected retailers and on digital platforms.