CD Review: Luciano's Simple Brilliance
Almost instantly the world of music becomes a much better place the second Luciano releases a new album. The vibes are always amongst the strongest of the year, and despite routinely releasing upwards of 4-5 albums a year, Luciano always seems to exercise a great deal of quality control on his albums. Combined with the fact that he is without a doubt the most consistent roots reggae singer of the last decade and one of the most classy, I always look forward to hearing a new Luciano album.
Despite his immense popularity and inexhaustible recording level there never seems to be a bit of controversy surrounding the artist. No, he isn't given the proper attention which he should receive abroad, but here he is without a doubt one of the most popular artists Jamaica has ever seen. Just a cursory listen to his new album, Child of a King will perhaps tell you why: Nothing puts a strain on Luciano's music, and there is no strain at all in the super laid back, and very solid effort on Child of a King.
This album has mighty big shoes to fill being the follow up to his last VP album, the massive Serious Times. And while not being as strong as that album, Child of a King does more than hold its on with an almost curiously strong vibe emanating from the top tracks here. Much of the production is done by Mr. Vegas' partner in crime Byron Murray for In the Streetz Records, one of the busiest producers in Jamaica right now having done tracks for nearly every major roots reggae release since the beginning of the summer and Luciano is rightly afforded some of the finest backing tracks available. Thus, had you been listening through that time, you'll hear some very familiar material redone to probably its greatest effect by Luciano.
The best tune here is probably the title track, one listen and the reason why the album was named after that track in particular is quickly revealed. The song is not unlike many a Luciano song which exclaims the power and loyalty of His Imperial Majesty without going over the top or resorting to the yelling style of many of his peers, its like how you can define the Messenger's entire career; simple brilliance.
Also check the opener, the acoustic Remember When, just another simple beautiful and lush sounding tune. Check the wonderful anti-violence Brother Man which should probably be the second single if anyone is paying attention, big big song; Definitely no Luciano album is complete without an herb song, Child of a King is blessed with the outstanding International Cannabis over the Free Life riddim; and Watch What You Doin' is probably my second favorite song on the album over the fine Street Swing riddim.
Also, a few nice covers are here, standing out is the cover of Bob & Marcis's Young Gifted and Black, and it works very nicely for the Messenger of course. Also included is somewhat of a tip of VP's hat by including both This One is For the Leaders and Silver & Gold, both were released a little later than the Serious Times album, but Child of a King was originally expected for 2005.
Overall, definitely pick up Child of a King, like most Luciano albums these days (and most of the past half decade or so) it is top notch. His voice is as clear and crisp as it has ever been, he's working with one of the best young producers in all of reggae and its a Luciano album! That should be enough to make you want it, the strong vibes on it will be enough to make you like it, definitely recommended!
Bramoi for Trini Jungle Juice
Child of a King - Luciano
Release Date: Oct 24th 2006
01. Remember When
02. This One Is For Leaders
03. Brother Man
04. New World In The Morning
05. Young Gifted & Black
06. Desperate Lover
07. Can't Take No More
08. Watch What U Doin'
09. Peace Train
10. So Much Going On
11. This One Is For The Children
12. International Cannabis
13. Not Until
14. Child Of A King
15. Silver And Gold