UK’s Lloyd Brown – one of the most consistent artist in the reggae industry – is no stranger to productiveness. He usually drops one album each year and sometimes two. And this is now the case.
On July 30 he dropped two albums – From the Old School and Twenty. And together they collect a whopping 32 tracks; 16 on each set.
Both albums have telling titles. From the Old School – with a sleeve influenced by The Harder They Come – carries vintage vibes with several relicks and influences from rocksteady and reggae from the early 70s. Twenty is the name of his 20th album and has a slightly more contemporary approach.
They present timeless reggae of the finest calibre. It’s soulful, natural and bittersweet. The quality is impressively uniform; as always one might add.
Lloyd Brown is probably best known for his sweet and smooth relationship outings. And there are plenty of love and romance on both sets. His honeyed voice is custom-made for singing about lost love, relationship mistakes and heartfelt apologies.
These two albums are beautiful and clearly recorded and produced with love and affection.
Not many people can treat themselves with an album to celebrate their birthday. One who can is the celebrated and consistent UK singer and songwriter Lloyd Brown. He turned 50 in March and a few months later his 18 track album LB 50 was put out.
Lloyd Brown is one of the most productive singers in the industry and turns out at least one album each year. Last year he actually dropped two – New Veteran and Rootical. Both were critically acclaimed, with the Zion I Kings’ Rootical being slightly better with its spiritual messages and sparse arrangements.
LB 50 is Lloyd Brown’s 18th album and he has as usual invited several guest artists and has worked with a number of different producers, each with their own sound, which gives the album some versatility. It offers lots of reggae of course, but also a little bit of electro, dancehall and soul.
Lloyd Brown’s singing is always a joy and on LB 50 he is as comfortable and smooth as ever before. It sounds like he weighs every word and every syllable carefully before he sings them. His style is very well-crafted, easy-going and warm, and it’s impossible to him and songs like All About You, a rocksteady-tinged version of The Mighty Diamonds’ Country Living, the dense Million Dollar Baby, or the jazzy sound boy destroyer My Sound, with an introduction by David Rodigan.
Lloyd Brown has treated himself with an exceptional birthday gift, and this is yet another bright and harmonious set from one of most reliable artists in the reggae industry.
For prolific reggae singer Lloyd Brown’s second album this year he has joined forces no others than the dynamic and highly successful U.S. based production trio Zion I Kings.
Lloyd Brown is a UK resident and a veteran on the reggae scene with a career spanning 30 years and 17 albums, including the brand new Rootical, definitely one of his best releases so far. That says quite a lot since Lloyd Brown is one of the most consistent artists on the contemporary reggae scene.
Rootical is a 13 track set that might be his most roots-oriented set to date and has a classic, yet modern feel. It’s a mix of romantic sounds, brimstone and fire roots and dub wizardry and has rather sparse arrangements with nyabinghi drum patterns, chopping guitars, bright horns and pulsating bass lines. At times it sounds like Niney in his heydays back in the 70s.
Lloyd Brown is a certified soul singer and one hell of a vocalist. He can be plaintive and express sorrow, while also being uplifting and joyful. But usually it just sounds like he smiles when he sings, which make you want to smile too. It’s such a joy and pleasure to listen to his silky smooth crooning, especially when he clashes more aggressive deejays like the multi-talented Jahdan Blakkamoore, Queen Omega and Pressure.
It’s hard to get a better music experience than this and Lloyd Brown and the Zion I Kings have with this release managed to outperform themselves.
On UK veteran soul and reggae singer Lloyd Brown’s 16th studio album he presents a smorgasbord of vintage and modern urban reggae styles fused with vintage and contemporary soul and R&B.
Lloyd Brown is a traditional, confident and reliable singer, much like some of his contemporaries, including Glen Washington, Richie Stephens and Nerious Joseph. His featherlike, seductive and smooth singing is particularly well-suited for romancing ballads, but he is equally at home with both heavier and more up-tempo styles.
New Veteran is – just like some of his most recent output – released on his own imprint Riddimworks and based on the work from a number of different producers, including himself. And this makes New Veteran a bit non-cohesive, but that is not necessarily a bad thing since there isn’t a weak moment. The other day I actually listened to the album for three hours straight.
Lloyd Brown has always been fond of both covers and combinations and this 15 track set is no exception. He has invited veterans and newcomers alike coming from the reggae, dancehall, soul and hip-hop arenas, including soul diva Kele Le Roc, teenage dancehall sensation Shanti Force, Jamaican singjay Tanya Stephens, guitar virtuoso Junior Marvin, UK hip-hop artist Mystro, an excellent unknown soul singer called Mikie Blak and the the late Dennis Brown on a cover version of the Eagles’ mid 70s smash hit Lyin’ Eyes.
The album is currently only available on iTunes, a distribution tactic I’m not particularly fond of. The sound is a bit thin due to the hard compression and it’s better for the consumer to be able to choose their favorite platform instead of being obliged to use this poor outlet.
Lloyd Brown is one of the most reliable and consistent artists from the UK, and this year he celebrates 30 years in the music business with the aptly titled 20 track album 30, his 15th full-length album.
During his long career he has been singing in the band Sweet Distortion, been a pivotal figure on the British lovers rock scene and for the past 15 years or so he has released several eclectic, but mostly reggae-based, albums.
30 is more or less a reggae album, even though there are other influences, mostly from soul and R&B, and Lloyd Brown has for example invited Julie Payne for a cover version of Philly vocal group The Three Degrees’ international smash hit When Will I See You Again.
On several albums Lloyd Brown has paid respect to Bob Marley by doing both covers as well as versions, and 30 is no exception since he utilizes the classic Could You Be Loved riddim for his marvelous Catch the Feeling. He also pays tribute to the late Dennis Brown, a little less unsung hero compared to Bob Marley.
Lloyd Brown’s tender and delicate voice is always a pleasure and 30 also boasts a number of tasty relicks of reggae and rocksteady riddims complete with exquisite musicianship, particularly the horns arrangements and the airy guitar solo in Right There.
United Reggae’s Angus Taylor once wrote that Lloyd Brown is a cert for every best album of the year list, and I have a feeling 30 is a strong contender for this year’s list.