Review: Richie Spice – Soothing Sounds: Acoustic

Review: Richie Spice – Soothing Sounds: Acoustic

Richie Spice – Soothing Sounds: Acoustic
1. Tru Love
2. Free
3. My Heart
4. Searching
5. System
6. Crying
7. Heng On In Deh
8. Get Up
9. My Girl
10. All Night
11. More Love (Ft. Snatcha Lion & Spanner Banner)
12. Wandering Sheep
13. Jah Provide
14. Downside Up
15. Agony

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Record Label: Tad’s Record Inc.
Official Website: Richie Spice Website

Group Background:
Roots singer Richie Spice hails from the island of Jamaica and comes from a musically gifted family in brothers Pliers, Spanner Banner, and Snatcha Lion. Spice has toured significantly throughout Europe and the United States over the course of the last 15+ years including stops at Reggae Sunsplash and White River Reggae Bash, opening shows for his brother Spanner Banner and Rita Marley. His song “Youth Dem Cold” is featured on Rockstar Games “Grand Theft Auto IV” and the ending track of the sci-fi thriller film “Attack the Block”

Album Review:
Richie Spice’s sixth studio album Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is a complete break from the roots singers last five offerings and possibly one of the best in terms of showcasing Spice’s wide vocal range and perfect falsetto, which are the driving force behind the entire album.

The “Soothing Sounds” title perfectly emulates the flow and feel of this album, maybe even a little too soothing at some points with some tracks meandering without a sense of transitioning from their intros. Despite the slow and lackluster development of some tracks, Spice’s voice and diverse musicianship on the album (banjo on acoustic roots reggae, and they kill it!) more than make up for it.

Soothing Sounds is co-produced by guitarist Mitchum Chin (Anuhea, Buju Banton, Bruno Mars, Capleton, John Legend, Sizzla, Toots & the Maytals, etc) and his guitar work is very prevalent throughout the album. Roots reggae is very bass and drums driven, and sometimes reggae artists have a hard time transforming their music into an acoustic version. Mitchum Chin’s guitar work on the album makes that evolution with ease, especially on the track “Searching,” which is an unplugged rendition of Spice’s popular song (and one of my favorite reggae songs) “Youth Dem Cold.”

Also contributing to Soothing Sounds are percussionists Denver Smith, Bongo Herman, and most notably legendary bassist Robbie Shakespeare, one half of the Riddim Twins duo Sly & Robbie. While some tracks feel like they suffer from an unfinished arrangement, the all-star performance from Spice and company are alone worth the purchase.

“Downside up” is the second to last track on the album and a beautiful lullaby of sorts that gives the listener a feeling of closure. For some reason, there is one more track on the album titled “Agony,” which is aptly named considering its position on the album. After such a mellow and loving experience with the first 14-tracks, having a disco styled dance song to close the album almost ruins the full listening experience.

If you are a Richie Spice fan, Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is a must-buy. If you are a true roots reggae fan, I highly suggest checking it out. If you are more into the rock reggae scene, with emphasis on rock, then this album can be hit or miss.

Written & Reviewed By: Ryan Daley

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]