Jamaican singer and musician Bryan Art’s new self-titled album is an odd one since eleven of its 13 tracks are lifted directly from his excellent debut album 20ten, released three years ago.
The new album is put out on a different label and only includes two new tracks – the hip-hop flavored Capleton combination Dem Fass and the haunting Warrior King duet New Day. Both are however also previously available, Dem Fass as a single and New Day on the Reggaeville riddim compilation.
This repackaging is a dirty and sneaky way of getting exposure of already available material and it would have been better if the label and its marketers would have been upfront with this. Luckily enough the set is solid, since the cocktail of refurbished vintage riddims and original material is first-rate. So is Bryan Art’s soulful and husky voice.
He’s also a prolific songwriter and has penned for acclaimed artists such as Luciano and Etana. He’s also an accomplished guitarist, member of the Firehouse Crew and leader of Bushman’s backing band the Grass Roots Band. In other words – he knows what he’s doing.
However, some of the strongest songs are left out this time, and the weakest one by far – the flat house influenced No Malice – is annoyingly still around.
The best way to learn more about Bryan Art’s tasteful sounds is to get the debut album and the two singles. That’s all you need for now.
Bryan Art is now available on CD and digital download.