Michael Rose Bonanza

At first listen, Bonanza sounds awfully thin, production-wise. When the back cover's liner notes speak of how he's fused his music with "sophisticated American R&B," the "crossover" warning light switches on. At least the crossover is limited to one song: "Rock With Somebody." But, beyond that, the sound is more dancehall than roots. He's also retained some restrained dub techniques that flesh out the proceedings. The R&B content is limited mostly to some of the synth sounds and that damn bell tree percussion that seems to pop up in every single R&B ballad. Michael has not lost anything, vocally, since his Black Uhuru days. His lyrics may not be as distinctive as they used to be, but he can still come up with some excellent tracks like "Bogus Badge" and "Revolution." As with all dancehall-influenced productions, the sonic nuances are more apparent the louder you play it. (Heartbeat)