UK’s number one crooner Bitty McLean is back with yet another solid collaboration with Sly & Robbie. Heart, Mind & Soul EP follows the beautiful The Taxi Sessions released two years ago.
This fresh new EP is presently only available on vinyl, which also comes with a CD, and collects six tracks of which four are previously unreleased. Anything and Everything is available on Sly & Robbie & Spicy Chocolate’s The Reggae Power and In and Out of Love was also featured on The Taxi Sessions.
Heart, Mind & Soul continues where The Taxi Sessions left off. Bitty McLean sings his heart out over vintage Sly & Robbie riddims, originally laid at Channel One by the Hookim brothers. His voice is as elegant as ever and the bass and drums are rock solid and completed by smooth horns.
Bitty McLean has a great presence in his performance and it’s easy to imagine him singing in a small club, walking effortlessly around the floor singing genuine love songs for all the lovers and couples out there.
Sly & Robbie’s joint album with Japanese producer Spicy Chocolate was released in the U.S. last year and was nominated for a Grammy. The Reggae Power is an eclectic and contemporary album that is finally available throughout the world.
The Reggae Power is a various artist compilation brought together by Spicy Chocolate with support from legendary bass and drum duo Sly & Robbie. And they have invited a broad range of artists for this set – ranging from dancehall kings and queens like Ce’cile, Beenie Man and Mr. Vegas to the righteous ravings from Sizzla. On board the project is also a number of Japanese artists, including Crystal Kay, Thelma Aoyama, Miss Monday and Ryo the Skywalker.
It’s more dancehall than roots, and sometimes it’s more R&B-influenced pop than dancehall. Just listen to sweet songstress Alaine’s Wasn’t So Bad or Bitty McLean’s slick Anything and Everything. Two tracks directly aimed at the charts.
But then you also have rampant soca-fused cuts like Mr. Vegas & Chehon’s Dancing Time and Jason Sweetness & Future Fambo’s Party Time, a track where the title says it all.
You have to be seriously impressed by Sly & Robbie. Last year they dropped no less than three rough and tough dub albums and then they direct a set like this, which is nothing like dub. The Reggae Power is joyous, party-fuelled and should appeal to anyone fond of contemporary urban R&B and pop.