Winston McAnuff Nostradamus

Winston McAnuff Nostradamus
Though esteemed as a songwriter, particularly of the anthemic "Malcolm X," McAnuff has never been any great shakes as a vocalist. His career could charitably be described as "low key" but France's Makasound label has afforded him the opportunity to release album-length projects, not just the odd single every few years. Stalwart producer Clive Hunt is at the helm of this latest project, recorded at some of Jamaica's finest studios. But the final products are less than the sum of their parts. McAnuff's singing, rough at best, is borderline painful, at times, and is consistently overshadowed by the (in tune) backing vocalists. Hunt should have worked harder to create a more distinctive roots sound to support McAnuff. The rhythm section grooves okay but the approach to keyboards looks back to anaemic early '90s synth noises, breaking any kind of mystic vibe McAnuff tries so hard to achieve. The dub touches are totally perfunctory, rather than acting as exclamation points. Nevertheless, at the centre of the project are some solid songs. These could definitely come alive onstage with a sympathetic band. (Maka-Sound)