Speak Out
Keith Poppin
KP Productions
November 22, 2011

Track list
  1. Bounce 1
  2. What A World
  3. Fade Away
  4. Speak Out
  5. Evil Days
  6. When We Gonna Learn
  7. Better Way
  8. Poor Old Joe
  9. Down For So Long
  10. Wonderer
  11. Change To Come
  12. Need Some Loving
  13. Baby
  14. MaryLou
  15. We Shall Ovecome
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Three years after Keith Poppin's wonderful compilation of vintage material entitled "Get Together ~ Original Recordings 1970-79" came to us like manna from heaven, the reggae veteran surprises us again with the release of his brand new "Speak Out" set. The latter is a 15 track album with all new material that was recorded at Fab Five Stage Recording Studio and Blackbeard's studio in Jamaica as well as Ed Robinson's studio and Osceola Studio in the US. Keith Poppin's powerful voice and conscious lyrics are complimented by fresh sounding riddims, played by some of Jamaica's best reggae musicians including Dwight Pinkney, Grub Cooper, Keith Francis, Ansel Collins, Rod Bryan, Ed Robinson and Donny Oxman.

Keith Poppin (born Keith Smith in Kingston, Jamaica) is a superb soulful singer with a great baritone, who is able to deliver a convincing performance as a crooner when singing a love song like "Need Some Loving", but on the other hand also manages to impress when chanting a message tune like the title track "Speak Out". Over the years the singer has been true to his roots and this is fully showcased on this album, not only musically but also lyrically. The listener is treated to many solid pieces ("What A World", "Evil Days", "When We Gonna Learn", "Down For So Long", "Wonderer", and "Change To Come"), a few great songs ("Speak Out", "Better Way", and "Fade Away" - not the Junior Byles song), and only one lesser appealing effort ("We Shall Overcome").

Overall "Speak Out" is a highly enjoyable album that will surely appeal to Keith Poppin's long time fans as well as those who are looking for a well produced collection of songs that upholds the values of traditional reggae music.