This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1996.
Michael Rose, one time lead singer of Black Uhuru, has
just released his sophomore effort on Heartbeat Records,
entitled "Be Yourself."
Following in the footsteps of last year's self-titled
debut, this disc continues with strong, well-crafted songs,
conscious lyrics and crisp, modern production.
Two of his biggest hits during his stint with Black
Uhuru, "I Love King Selassie," and "Guess Who's Coming To
Dinner" are re-done here, and although they lack the punch
of the originals, they're still enjoyable. Most of the
remaining nine tracks, however, are excellent.
Beginning with his latest single, "Rude Boys (Back In
Town)," this release contains just over 45 minutes of hook
laden, highly danceable pop reggae. Rose's trademark vocals
are in top form, especially on such noteworthy tunes as
"Black Maria," "The Juice," "Dummy," "Agony," and the title
Michael Rose has been an influential force in reggae
music for the better part of the past three decades. "Be
Yourself" will prove to be another quality release from an
artist whose unique vocal style has often been imitated but
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