May 15, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
It took guitarist-turned-singer Bryan Art (formerly Brahyhan Art) no less than eight years to get his first studio album entitled "20ten" finally released. At the beginning of the new millennium he recorded for Yogi aka Courtney John's FiWi Music label and an album would have been released in about 2002. However this didn't happen. Five years later it looked like Tad's International was going to distribute Bryan Art's debut album, but again it didn't happen. Then Bryan Art decided to handle his own affairs, and in 2010 he released the 16-track "20Ten" set on his own Junction File imprint.
Bryan Art (real name Bryan Grant) was born in St. Ann, Jamaica, just walking distance from the birthplace of Bob Marley, Nine Miles. He eventually moved to Kingston where he did Latin American & Jazz studies at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. While in school he was discovered by George "Dusty" Miller of the Fire House Crew, who gave him the opportunity to tour as guitarist and member with the band that backed Luciano, Sizzla and Mikey General. With that experience he later became co-founder and bandleader of Bushman's Grass Roots band. When he wasn't on tour he pursued his long time dream of singing. Furthermore he wrote songs for artist such as Luciano, Bushman, Singing Melody, Etana, George Nooks, and, of course, himself.
With his self-titled album for Al.Ta.Fa.An Records he seemingly follows up "20ten", however this isn't exactly the case. Apart from the collaborations with Warrior King ("New Day") and Capleton ("Dem Fass"), this album contains solely tunes that were also featured on "20ten". Although the bulk of the material isn't brand new (songs like e.g. "Rock And Come In", "Beautiful", and "Get It" were done years ago), Bryan Art's songs still sound fresh and are a real joy to listen to.
The opening track, the nice lovers piece "Anyway", sees the husky voiced singer accompanied by only his acoustic guitar. Then the album really takes of with the solid "Get It", an infectious tune underpinned by a live played riddim with real nice guitar and organ parts. Oneness Records' "Reggaeville" riddim (a relick of The Paragons "Riding On A High And Windy Day") drops in for "New Day", a strong combination tune done with Warrior King. Another classic riddim, Horace Andy's "Skylarking", is revitalized for "Murder Dem A Play". The latter features Queen Ifrica and is one of the standouts here. The third resuscitated riddim in a row is Althea & Donna's "Uptown Top Ranking", utilized as backdrop for the joyous "Rock And Come In", recorded for FiWi Music about ten years ago.
On the next two tracks Bryan Art is joined by Capleton and Hawkeye. The fiery delivery of the 'King of Fire' combined with the vocal delivery of Bryan Art makes the conscious "Dem Fass" worth hearing. This tune was first released as a solo effort, but now benefits from Capleton's contribution. Then it's time for the uplifting "Second Class" to drop in, and although this one is a decent effort, it can't match the previous tune. The rest of the album - with the appealing slow-paced "Taxi" being the exception - deals with 'lovers for lovers', of which in particular "Sweeter Love" and "Best Of My Love" leave a good impression.
Keep an eye on this artist, because this collection shows he's a major talent.