Easy Star All Stars – Thrillah
1.) Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (Feat. JoWil and Ruff Scott)
2.) Baby Be Mine (Feat. The Green)
3.) The Girl Is Mine (Feat. Mojo Morgan and Steel Pulse)
4.) Thriller (Feat. Mikey General and Spragga Benz)
5.) Beat It (Feat. Michael Rose)
6.) Billie Jean (Feat. Luciano)
7.) Human Nature (Feat. Cas Haley)
8.) P.Y.T(Pretty Young Thing) (Feat. Kirsty Rock)
9.) The Lady In My Life (Feat. Christopher Martin)
10.) Dub It
11.) Close To Midnight
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Record Label: Easy Star Records
Official Website: Easy Star All Stars Website
Combining musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a superb rhythm section, the Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts since their live debut in 2003.
Thanks to their best-selling tribute album releases, Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006), and Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009), the remix album Dubber Side of the Moon (2010), as well as original releases Until That Day EP (2008) and First Light (2011), the Easy Star All-Stars have built a growing, dedicated fan base throughout the world, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub and indie rock into one big family.
The Easy Star All-Stars have again reverted back to their monumental tribute fashion with a new release set for August 28th 2012 via Easy Star Records The Easy Star All-Stars fourth tribute album will honor: Michael Jackson with Thrillah.
When the news that the Easy Star All Stars would refit Rolling Stone magazines 20th best album of all time into a reggae soundscape, reactions of all types jumbled the blogs and social networks. The Easy Star All Stars challenged ’80’s pop/ post-disco to a dubby and synthy shootout and invited some of reggae’s top-of-the-line singers to pay tribute to the king of pop.
The Easy Star All Stars truly facelift a handful of MJ’s songs in rootsy fashion, some being vocal masterpieces. With the help of The Green from Hawaii, “Baby Be Mine”, became one of my favorites. They maintained a pop-feel similar to that of Michael Jackson’s but with a skank-driven overcoat. Cas Haley and The All Stars made a lulling remaster of Human Nature as well, one of the gems.
Despite the solos, horns, and other synthesized effects, I felt like some songs took too long to ignite. Songs such as “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” and “P.Y.T” didn’t stroll too far away from the original version. Nicking or simply adding a skank rhythm and/or swapping instruments were the only noticeable renovations. Although there is a spritz of newer, rhapsodic vocals, I felt that there could have become additional options in the mixing process.
Of the three most popular singles on Michael Jackson’s record, “Beat It” is the most enthralling. Complete with howling wolves and a special attention to rhythm, longtime collaborator from Black Uhuru, Michael Rose, provided the vocals over a much foggier rhythm, that was seemingly recorded in an old high school gymnasium.
A pair of dubbed versions of Thriller and “Beat It” close out the record in outer space style. The two remolds are reverb-fraught and the special layers of computerized effects effectively discharge the lyrics without losing any momentum. The additional horn and key layers matches “Dub It” to the energy level of Michael Rose’s version.
Overall, The Easy Star All Stars take on a post-disco classic was a novel and well-guided take, but remember it is also a tribute to one of the best albums of all times. The tribute may never live up to The King’s on a dance-ability front, but the Easy Star All Stars surely do the album justice in their classic dubby reggae fashion, with just a few hiccups along the way.
Written & Reviewed By: Matt Emodi
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