Be Careful
Matthew McAnuff
Chapter Two Records
CD / Digital Release
August 10, 2013

Track list
  1. Jah Bless
  2. Midnight Rolling
  3. No Segregation
  4. Make Up Stories
  5. A Little Way Different
  6. Trod On
  7. African Chanting
  8. Book Of Life
  9. Move Out Of Babylon
  10. No Run
  11. I Know
  12. Be Careful
  13. Brainwash feat. Tom Fire
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
The release of Matthew McAnuff's long awaited debut album is a joyful moment for any reggae fan, but in the meantime it's also a moment of sadness as there will never be no follow up to this collection of tunes. The 13 track "Be Careful" set has become his legacy as this very talented and much promising son of veteran singer Winston McAnuff was stabbed to death at the age of 25 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Wednesday August 22, 2012.

After he had notable success in Europe with his first single, the Earl "Chinna" Smith produced "Be Careful", Matthew McAnuff started to record songs for his debut album in 2009 under the watchful guidance of his experienced father. Musicians that participated in this project included Earl "Chinna" Smith, Dwight Pinkney, Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Sticky Thompson, Richie McDonald, and the legendary riddim section from the Roots Radics, Errol "Flabba" Holt and Style Scott. Further contribrutions came from Cedric Myton of The Congos, who provided some backing vocals, and from France accordionist Fixi and hornsmen Guillaume "Stepper" Briard, Eric "Rico" Gaultier, and Olivier Caron.

Perhaps the most striking track featured on this well worth album is "Book Of Life", a well done rendition of this classic Hugh Mundell song. Just like that extremely talented young artist from the late '70s/early '80s, Matthew McAnuff was establishing his name as a bright new roots star in the ascendant. And just like Hugh Mundell, he was killed due to a ludicrous dispute. A weird experience to hear Matthew McAnuff perform this sublime song, which he recorded in 2009. However, from different points of view it's definitely one of the highlights of an album that makes a real good impression throughout. Apart from the wicked, nyahbinghi flavored "Be Careful" and the musically very different, but lyrically excellent collaboration with Tom Fire entitled "Brainwash", this set features previously unreleased material. In particular worth hearing over and over again are quality songs such as the uptempo album opener "Jah Bless", the moving reality tune "Midnight Rolling", the wonderful "No Segregation", and "Move Out Of Babylon" on Ernest Wilson's revitalized "I Know Myself" riddim. Also Matthew McAnuff's version of Errol Dunkley's "A Little Way Different" deserves special attention.

Gone far too soon, but his music will live on forever!!