With lead vocalist and chief songwriter Michael Rose providing memorable socially conscious lyrics and melodic ideas, and supported by backing vocalists Sandra "Puma" Jones and founder Duckie Simpson, the band was further strengthened by the amazing "Riddim Twins" of drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, whose telekinetic synchronicity was mirrored by the production and arrangement skills, and the session band, The Revolutionaries, are also highly impressive.
"Darkness" by Rose is another standout, taking a different tack tempo-wise from the opener and highlighting Rose's strong sense of wordplay and unique vocalizing with Shakespeare's peerless bass playing shining through. "Eye Market," has a cool backing vocal refrain by Jones and Simpson and some notable synth touches. "Right Stuff" is another great tune, even if the vocoder element dates the song a bit." "Mondays" is a bit simplistic lyrically, but Rose's vocals are so unique that it really doesn't matter and the band plays great. "Fleety Foot" and "Wicked Act," complete a run of six consecutive Rose tracks, all quite strong.
"Moya (Queen of I Jungle)" by Simpson is probably the one track that might be of lesser interest, though Shakespeare hits single bass notes perfectly to make things move along. But, Simpson followed that with a masterpiece, "Emotional Slaughter," a deep, emotive and moving song that features Rose's singing at its searching best and another great Shakespeare bass performance, while Dunbar keeps the acoustic and electronic drum patterning steady as she goes.
The Revolutionaries' three lead guitarists, rhythm guitar and two percussionists provide a wall of dense, but very enjoyable and diverse sounds along with the supremely confident playing of the rhythm section, who are slyly (get it?) referred to in the credits as "Sly Drumbar" and "Robbie Basspeare.
|"Sly Drumbar" and "Robbie Basspeare," the sublime Riddim Twins rhythm section and producers, arrangers and co-mixers of Chill Out, a stellar album when Black Uhuru produced a trio of fine albums between 1980 and 1982.|
Black Uhuru rode fairly high in those days, but it all fell apart after their 1984 album Anthem was released, this record, ironically, winning the first Grammy award for top reggae album. Rose left the group and Simpson and Jones and then Simpson alone kept the band going for quite a while, but it just never was the same. After a long hiatus, Rose resumed a solo career, largely steeped in dancehall, but also never reached the heights of prime early 80s Black Uhuru.