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Music Review: Michael Rose – Happiness: The Best of Michael Rose

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My Hyundai Santa Fe will never be the same.

We were on our way to eat a quick dinner with friends at a local restaurant. The restaurant in question was located in a shopping center near our suburban Orlando neighborhood. The vehicle du jour around there is a Lexus SUV and inside, you’ll find 3.2 kids, one dog and a soccer mom with road rage.

I had gotten my review copy of Michael Rose’s latest CD, Happiness: The Best of Michael Rose in the mail earlier that day. We decided to bring it along with us and give it a listen. I skipped straight to the sixteenth track, “Never Give It Up.” It’s a favorite of mine and I was thrilled they’d included it on the CD.

At at an intersection in our suburbian eutopia, we pulled alongside some construction, [and its requisite workers] and waited for the light to turn. We had the windows rolled up, and we were jamming. Heads bopping, the mirrors vibrating, we were quite a scene — two forty-something women dressed for dinner, sitting in a silver SUV, and listening to hardcore reggae. The construction workers saw us and began dancing along. They couldn’t hear the music, but it didn’t matter — we danced in our seats, they danced in the dirt, we exchanged thumbs-up signs and all was well with the world.

Until the cars behind us began to honk their horns, and we realized that the vehicles ahead of us had departed — leaving us holding up traffic and offering an interesting conversation piece for the construction workers. Feeling like ass, we sped up to the light and got through it just as it turned red.

That’s when I decided it would be better to listen to the CD in the comfort of my office, far from soccer moms, contruction workers and road rage.

The CD is a gem. Michael Rose, former lead singer of the group Black Uhuru [who in 1984 won reggae’s first Grammy], belts out his distinctive Jamaican tones on old favorites going all the way back to his days with Black Uhuru. The CD, available in stores now, is enhanced and contains the music video of track number five, “Short Temper.”

We’re planning on having a late summer party, serving fruity drinks with little umbrellas and cranking this CD out. I suggest you give it a listen and pay particular attention to track seventeen, “Shine Eye Gal” — it features Michael and Shabba Ranks. I guarantee you will not be able to sit still.

“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” (Original Version)
“Rent Man” (Short Version)
“Sun Is Shining”
“Plastic Smile” (Short Version)
“Short Temper”
“How You Fi Do That” (Live Version)
“Be Yourself”
“Rude Boys” (Dodge City Mix)
“Black Maria”
“Dance Wicked”
“Lion In The Jungle (with Maxi Priest)”
“Ganja Bonanza”
“It’s Alright”
“Big Ting”
“Never Give It Up”
“Shine Eye Gal” (with Shabba Ranks)
“Rough Life”

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About Chari

  • There’s a great photo of Michael Rose playing live at a venue called DRUM in the UK by Pogus Caesar. It’s taken from a show called ‘music kinda sweet’ and features lots more reggae and soul artists [you need to go on exhibitions in oom gallery]…this is a must if you love roots rock. Irie vibe.

  • Eric Olsen

    very good job, glad you liked it – thanks and welcome back, Chari!

  • Yah mon! Wicked! I-rie vibrations!