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Horace Andy

Broken Beats

(Echo Beach; US: 22 Jan 2013; UK: 21 Jan 2013)

Over his 40-plus-year career, Horace Andy has not been too closely associated with dub. And with an angelic singing voice like his, that makes sense. Broken Beats, though, is an attempt to bring Andy’s humble crooning into the dubstep era. The German dub label Echo Beach seems like a good place for such an attempt, and notable names from the label’s stable try their hands at some of Andy’s best-known songs, with newly-recorded vocals from Andy himself.


The results aren’t bad at all, with Rob Smith lending a wobbly bass line to “Badman” and Dubblestandart launching “Money Money” out into the stratosphere. These new versions are thick and heavy while remaining respectful to the originals. But a sense of redundancy sets in, as the half-dozen or so tracks are repeated in dub versions. Taking the vocals out of Andy’s work will never make it better, and there are no exceptions here. And the new, housed-up recording of “Skylarking” is incongruent at best.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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