Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Toots & The Maytals - True Love (2004)

This is a collection of Toots & the Maytals classics re-recorded with guest artists. With guests like Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Shaggy, No Doubt, The Roots, and Ben Harper, this CD should be a lot better than it is. About half the songs are good and Toots' voice has never sounded better, but there are more than a few tracks that I want to skip.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #177 (May 1, 2004)

Tracks: My favorites are Bam Bam with guests Shaggy and Rahzel (a fantastic fusion of old and new reggae styles), Monkey Man with guests No Doubt, Reggae Got Soul with reggae legends Ken Boothe and Marcia Griffiths, and Never Grow Old with guests The Skatalites. Clapton's wah-wah guitar adds nothing to an otherwise good version of Pressure Drop. Same with Jeff Beck and 54-46 Was My Number. Reggae music simply doesn't lend itself to call-and-response guitar work. With a doubt, the best song on the CD is the classic Funky Kingston with Bootsy Collins and The Roots, or, as Bootsy says in the intro, "Lemme hear ya say Toots, Roots, and Boots!" The Roots never take themselves too seriously and that's just the attitude this track needs. I can't sit still.

Finally, Keith Richards, Trey Anastacio, Ryan Adams, and (especially) Willie Nelson simply should not attempt to sing reggae. Ever. That is all.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Like most reggae albums, this is required listening in the summer. Listening to it mid-winter is an interesting experience, but we're supposed to have highs in the low 70's today so maybe I can make this work.

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