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Lee "Scratch" Perry|The Black Album

The Black Album

Lee "Scratch" Perry

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The Black Album is the second collaboration between dub reggae innovator Lee "Scratch" Perry and London-based producer/engineer Daniel Boyle, following 2014's Back on the Controls. Like that album, this one attempts to faithfully re-create the sound of Perry's trailblazing work from the '70s, using strictly analog equipment and instrumentation, as well as live dubbing during the mixing process. While Back on the Controls was a thoroughly successful effort which stood up to Perry's past achievements, The Black Album somehow ends up feeling par for the course. All of the ingredients are in place, from the rich instrumentation (including everything from a hurdy-gurdy to a kete drum, as well as offbeat sounds such as Boyle's baby crying at the beginning of "Mr. Brown in Town") to Perry's free-associative, often self-referential lyrics. Each of the songs are immediately reprised by dub versions, and these indulge in all of the spacy echo and delay effects one would expect, often improving on the originals. Overall, though, the music just doesn't seem quite as pushed to the outer limits as Back on the Controls. The Black Album isn't a major disappointment, but it isn't exceptional, either.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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The Black Album

Lee "Scratch" Perry

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1
Mr. Brown in Town
00:04:28

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

2
Mr. Brown Dub
00:04:11

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

3
Trendsetter
00:04:18

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

4
Trendsetting Dub
00:04:17

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

5
Your Shadow Is Black
00:04:36

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

6
Your Shadow Is Dub
00:04:36

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

7
Dead Meat
00:03:39

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

8
Dead Meat Dub
00:03:40

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

9
Dub at Abbey Road
00:04:17

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

10
Abbey Road Version
00:04:21

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

11
Bumpy Road of Life
00:04:18

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

12
Bumpy Dub
00:04:14

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

13
Captain Perry
00:04:04

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

14
Captain Dub
00:04:08

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

15
Killing Dancehall Softly
00:04:25

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

16
Killing Version
00:04:16

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

17
Solid State Communication
00:04:11

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

18
Solid State Dub
00:04:11

Lee Perry, LeadVocals - Lee "Scratch" Perry, MainArtist - Hughie Izachaar, BassGuitar - Hurdy Gurdy, Horn - Robbie Lynn, Keyboards - Ed West, Drums - Daniel Boyle, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, MainArtist, LeadVocals - Rory Sadler, Horn - Brian McCoy, Horn - Hughie Izachar, Guitar - Robert Landon, Horn - Calvin Bennion, Keyboards

2018 Upsetter 2018 Upsetter

Album Description

The Black Album is the second collaboration between dub reggae innovator Lee "Scratch" Perry and London-based producer/engineer Daniel Boyle, following 2014's Back on the Controls. Like that album, this one attempts to faithfully re-create the sound of Perry's trailblazing work from the '70s, using strictly analog equipment and instrumentation, as well as live dubbing during the mixing process. While Back on the Controls was a thoroughly successful effort which stood up to Perry's past achievements, The Black Album somehow ends up feeling par for the course. All of the ingredients are in place, from the rich instrumentation (including everything from a hurdy-gurdy to a kete drum, as well as offbeat sounds such as Boyle's baby crying at the beginning of "Mr. Brown in Town") to Perry's free-associative, often self-referential lyrics. Each of the songs are immediately reprised by dub versions, and these indulge in all of the spacy echo and delay effects one would expect, often improving on the originals. Overall, though, the music just doesn't seem quite as pushed to the outer limits as Back on the Controls. The Black Album isn't a major disappointment, but it isn't exceptional, either.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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