Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CD Review: Tarrus Riley's 'Mecoustic'

Tarrus Riley

Tarrus Riley is a Jamaican-American Rastafarian singer based in Bronx, NY. His style is easy-going reggae music with a soulful attitude and slight pop focus. The scintillating rhythms are smooth, infectious, and easy to listen to. The use of strings, guitars, horns, keyboards, and bass combine with bluesy and powerful vocals with accompanying backup voices representing a slight gospel edge. The English vocals contain a Jamaican presence that is always pleasant and relaxing. The militaristic march style of "She's Royal" is a heartfelt track all the way through. The piano sounds of "Eye Sight" are slightly jazzy, but Tarrus' vocals remind us we are in reggae territory. The typical staccato reggae beats are not particularly evident throughout the album. The poppy "Paradise" tune is a bright mix of sax, guitars, percussion, and backup vocals. Still, reggae fans will love the accessibility of all the songs no matter what their background or preference may be. Mecoustic is not about egos or selfishness; it's about music. ~ Matthew Forss

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