Graham Reid | | <1 min read
At 71, the great reggae singer Horace Andy needs no House-like rediscovery because he always been active, most familiarly through guest appearances on Massive Attack albums.
He brought his stentorian style to their One Love (on Blue Lines) but he also possesses a gentle lovers’ rock style which burnishes his harder edge.
Although he has released dozens of albums since his acclaimed Skylarking debut (1972), this new album sympathetically produced by Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound could bring him to much deserved wider attention.
That’s because Sherwood has reigned in his own dubbed-up and tripped-out tendencies to set Andy’s expressive voice at the centre of the sonic settings.
There are also strong songs here and a daring version of Massive Attack’s Safe From Harm which is broody, lightlydelic and conveys an ambiguous sense of reassurance and menace.
On the gospel-influenced Try Love – given spacious dubadelic touches by Sherwood – Andy has a seductive, Marley-like, reassurance message for these troubled times: when you’ve found everything wanting, tell him your troubles and “try love”.
With a discreet supporting cast which includes On-U guitarist Skip McDonald and Italian synth player Gaudi among others, Midnight Rocker connects back to Andy’s roots (Mr Bassie from the late Nineties getting a new iteration) but sounds as serious as classic Burning Spear (This Must Be Hell) and as seductive as Massive Attack.