Tag Archives: Mr Vegas

Only covers on Mr. Vegas’ new album

Mr-Vegas-Lovers-Rock-Soul-album-cover-300x300Versatile dancehall star Mr. Vegas has broadened his portfolio in recent years – from hardcore dancehall via foundation reggae to slick lovers rock. It started in 2010 with the massive reggae anthem Sweet Jamaica, which was later followed by a double album by the same name.

That double disc was Mr. Vegas’ first shot at recording classic reggae and he did it very well. It was well-received and boasted several covers of non-reggae tracks. And Mr. Vegas obviously got a taste for recording covers. Because now he has a new album with only cover songs of which a majority are non-reggae originals. They are rather pop and R&B evergreens.

Most of the songs picked for Lovers Rock and Soul have been covered countless times before, including Savage Garden’s Truly Madly Deeply, Wet Wet Wet’s Love is All Around, Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time and former Boyzone member Ronan Keating’s When You Say Nothing At All.

The album offers just what its title suggests – songs about romance, relationships and love. Unfortunately the album is just a bit too smooth and too slick. The cuts are ordinary hotel lounge covers with a reggae beat and nothing to get particularly excited about.

Mr. Vegas is a gifted singer and a talented artist and he can do way better than this. That was shown on the Sweet Jamaica album.

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Mr. Vegas shows his full range on Reggae Euphoria

unnamedDancehall superstar Mr. Vegas’ new album Reggae Euphoria is an eclectic and unusual – or dare I say odd – story. This 15 track set showcases all sides of the dynamic Mr. Vegas across a variety of genres, including rootsy reggae, energetic dancehall, smooth R&B and uplifting gospel.

It bounces off with the acoustic and nyabinghi-flavoured Mr. Shotta, followed by God Good, on a clever remake of the mighty Answer riddim. It has a bright and catchy church chorus where Mr. Vegas asks “If you know the lord is keeping you, what are you worrying about, if you know the lord is keeping, you why don’t you sing and shout.”

Fast forward to The Climb, a version of Miley Cyrus’ hit on which Mr. Vegas sings over a thumping riddim that sounds like it was recorded by New Jack Swingster Teddy Riley in Jamaica in the early 90s.

Mr. Vegas also covers Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Alton Ellis’ I’ve Got a Date. In between he has time for the ska-tinged My Jam and the romantic Thank You Girl. The set closes with Mr. Vegas’ take on the Nah Fraid riddim, a sparse riddim rooted in the mid-80s digital dancehall craze.

Reggae Euphoria blends romance and culture and at times finds the singer in a silky and sultry mood.

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Mr. Vegas catches the reggae euphoria

unnamedTalented dancehall deejay and label owner Mr. Vegas has been productive in recent years. In 2012 he dropped the acclaimed reggae-fused double disc Sweet Jamaica and last year he released the more dancehall-oriented Bruk it Down 2.0.

Now it’s time for a new album. His sixth to date. It’s called Reggae Euphoria and hits the streets on September 23.

Mr. Vegas has been in the music business for nearly 20 years and is best known for his energetic dancehall hits, but Reggae Euphoria is in a press release said to highlight a different style, just as the aforementioned Sweet Jamaica did when it came out.

The upcoming set collects 15 tracks and is expected to include a broad mix of genres. The greater portion is said to be reggae, but Mr. Vegas also ventures into dancehall, hip-hop, R&B, comedy (!) and gospel. It certainly sounds like another Sweet Jamaica.

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Another party-starter from Mr. Vegas

Mr Vegas Bruk It Down 2.0 coverFresh on the heels of his recent successful collaborations with Snoop Lion and Beyoncé, global dancehall phenomenon Mr. Vegas drops his ninth studio album Bruk It Down 2.0, the second set on his own label imprint MV Music.

The 16 track Bruk It Down 2.0 is named after his recent international cross-over hit single Bruk It Down, a catchy and whine-friendly effort with hard drums and whhooo, oooh ooohhh’s.

After last year’s reggae oriented double disc Sweet Jamaica, Mr. Vegas is now back in familiar territory. Bruk It Down 2.0 is more or less a full-blown and explosive dancehall album spiced with house, reggaeton, soca, dubstep and pop.

On the microphone he’s joined by a diverse set of artists, including Barbados’ very own soca queen Alison Hinds on a remix of the title track. Among the others we find reggae crooner Lukie D, gruff-voiced deejay Flourgon on a driving version of The Paragons’ On the Beach, reggaeton singer El Boy C on the propane-fuelled Vamos and songstress Terri on Take Off (Time to Hit the Floor), a tune far away from anything that has to do with reggae, but much like everything on top of the Billboard chart.

Bruk It Down 2.0 can probably set fire to any party with its reckless beats, infectious melodies and easy-going lyrics.

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New studio album from Sly & Robbie

SLY-ROBBIE-Album-Reggae-ConnectionLegendary Grammy-winning production duo Sly & Robbie rally in artists from Japan, Jamaica and the U.S. for their new album Reggae Connection. With nine Grammy nominations and two Grammy wins the esteemed Jamaican drum and bass duo is no strangers to success and their music has changed the reggae landscape several times during the past 30 years.

Reggae Connection is the follow up release to their 2013 Grammy-nominated reggae album New Legend – Jamaica 50th Edition. This new ten track compilation features an eclectic group of musicians over Sly & Robbie’s riddims. The album’s first single Gangsta Luv is sung by the up-and-coming all girl Jamaican group KGN21 with dancehall legend Mr. Vegas thrown in the mix.

The set also features a number of cover versions, including a reggae rendition of Maroon 5’s One More Night from Jamaican songstress Nioma and a dancehall-flavored version of The Wonder Girls’ Nobody.

In addition to singers from their native country, Sly & Robbie have invited multiple vocalists from around the globe. Hawaiian roots-reggae singer Irie Love lends her emotive vocals to So In Love while with no less than four Japanese singers are featured on the album.

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20 years of Maximum Sound

In the history of reggae music it’s often referred to labels and producers in the so-called golden era, i.e. the 70’s and Bob Marley’s heydays. Lee Perry at Black Ark, Coxsone Dodd at Studio One and Duke Reid at Tresure Isle regularly pops up.

But there are of course many, many other key labels and producers, and one of the most important ones in recent years is Frenchie, who operates and owns Maximum Sound and its subsidiaries Calabash, Pull Up My Selecta! and the most recent addition Maximum Sound Bwoy Killers.

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He has run Maximum Sound for 20 years and has put out a truckload of hard-bouncing dancehall and spiritual and relentless roots and culture, including Junior Kelly’s Tough Life, Fantan Mojah’s Stronger and Sean Paul’s Back Off. He was also involved in the creation of the world famous Diwali riddim and served as executive producer for Mr. Vegas’ breakthrough album Heads High.

Since it’s Maximum Sound’s 20th anniversary this year I had a chat with Frenchie about his career, the music industry and a broken fridge. Check the full story over at United Reggae and be sure to keep an eye out for an anniversary compilation dropping on September 16.

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Busy Signal waves the reggae flag high and proud

For the second time in a less than a month a dancehall superstar has dropped a more or less straight reggae album. Mr. Vegas’ double set Sweet Jamaica dropped in late March and Busy Signal’s Reggae Music Again was put out on April 10th, originally set for April 19th.

The reason for both artists putting out one drop reggae albums in 2012 is to celebrate 50 years of reggae music, or more accurately, 50 years since Jamaica’s independence from the UK on August 6th, 1962.

Where the Mr. Vegas set included several covers and sweet, honey-drenched reggae, Reggae Music Again is more of an original and individual affair.

Busy Signal is one of the most versatile and unique artists in the reggae industry today and moves seemingly effortlessly between hard, percussion-driven bashment, such as Jafrican Ting, and sexy, bedroom-luring ballads, such as the Phil Collins cover One More Night.

Reggae Music Again is somewhere in between. It’s contemporary reggae of the finest sort, blended perfectly by some of Jamaica’s top producers and musicians, including Shane C. Brown, Donovan Germain and Dean Fraser. On top of the sometimes tough, sometimes hip-hop-tinged or R&B-flavored, riddims is Busy Signal’s authoritative singing or deejaying style, occasionally spiced with auto-tune.

Among the many fine moments is the modern rub and scrub Come Over (Missing You) along with the combinations 119 and Running from the Law featuring Anthony Red Rose and Joe Lick Shot on the former and Romain Virgo and Esco Levi on the latter. Two songs with completely different moods, while 119 is dark and grim, Running from the Law is more up-tempo and cheerful with its keyboard hook in the background.

Busy Signal states in the liner notes that he’s committed to keeping the reggae flag waving high and proud. His flag is on top of the pole, and will probably stay there for years to come.


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Mr. Vegas aims to save foundation reggae

Dancehall superstar Mr. Vegas is on a mission and wants to save foundation reggae music. He has started a petition and his upcoming double album Sweet Jamaica is a tribute to reggae from the 60’s and 70’s.

I got a chat with him in mid January after his rehearsals for the Shaggy & Friends benefit concert in Jamaica. He stresses that he doesn’t want to be seen as a savior and reveals his respect for legendary vocalist Toots Hibbert. Check the full story over at United Reggae.

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Mr. Vegas satisfies all tastes

Many reggae and dancehall fans were probably struck by surprise in late November last year when international dancehall star and MOBO award-winner Mr. Vegas started the Save Foundation Reggae Music petition with the words “reggae music is dying, it’s being replaced on our airwaves by hip-hop sounding beats.”

As a long-time fan of 60’s and 70’s reggae I celebrate this initiative, but was nonetheless also surprised.

Mr. Vegas then decided to take things a step further and announced the release of his first reggae album – a celebration of Jamaica’s 50 years of independence. However, he soon realized that his dancehall fans might be disappointed. So in order to satisfy all tastes he decided to drop a double album instead – one aimed for one drop reggae enthusiasts and one for his dancehall followers.

Sweet Jamaica was the first single off the album, put out in late 2010. The new album is aptly titled after that particular tune.

The double album boasts a juicy 32 tracks – 16 flavored in foundation style with hints of ska, lovers rock, early reggae and rocksteady as well as another 16 tunes branded by his usual energetic dancehall style.

The majority of the reggae tracks are new acquaintances with a mix of fresh originals, versions and straight covers, while the dancehall album contains several of his recent dancehall bangers, including Bruk it Down, Whine for Me Baby, Certain Law and Beautiful Life. However, the brightest shining light on the dancehall disc is Let the Music Play where Mr. Vegas puts on a UK old school MC:ing style reminiscent of Tippa Irie or Papa Levi.

Sweet Jamaica is a broad effort that aims to satisfy a wide range of reggae fans. And even though some of the reggae covers could have been left out, this album certainly showcases a vast genre and a gifted and versatile artist.


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Nytt mixtape från Safari Sound

Safari Sound är tillbaka med ett nytt mixtape. Förra året släpptes Back With A Blast och i dag släpps uppföljaren Bad People Deya! Move Move Move! den första av åtminstone tre utlovade mixar i år. Titeln har Safari Sound hämtat från Aidonias senaste gimmick ”move move move” och Stephen ”Di Genious” McGregors nya rytm Bad People.

Mixtapet är dancehall rakt igenom och innehåller flera exklusiva spår och dubplates, bland annat från stjärnor som Million Stylez, Joey Fever, Mr Vegas och Maikal X.

Låtlistan är tvärfet. Mixen dessutom helt kostnadsfri. Finns alltså ingen anledning att inte ladda ner ett av vårens bästa mixtapes.

Här laddar du ner mixen som separata låtar, och här kan du ladda ner den som enskilt spår.

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