Ali Campbell – Silhouette
It’s pretty likely that at some point in your life you’ve heard a UB40 song – most likely “Red Red Wine”, “Here I Am (Come And Take Me)”, or their amazing cover of the Elvis Presley song “Can’t Help Falling In Love” – and if you’re anything like me, you fell in love with Ali Campbell’s smooth voice instantly.
I’ll admit it, I might have even had a bit of a crush on him growing up. That aside, Campbell’s distinct voice always stood out to me. Despite Campbell leaving the band in 2008, that didn’t slow him down, and would continue making music. In fact, this past July he released a teaser video for a new song and album titled Silhouette, to be released on Cooking Vinyl. The announcement also included that he would be reuniting with UB40’s Astro and Mickey for the album. In early September an official video for the title track was released and the world began to remember how much they loved Campbell’s voice and became excited for the new album.
For those of you expecting to hear reggae music that makes you sway combined with Campbell’s silky voice, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what you’re going to get. With over an hour’s worth of blissful jams, you’ll want to grab yourself a drink (just be careful if its red wine), kick back in your favorite chair and drift away, letting Campbell and Co. be your guides. Don’t have an hour to spend? How about a quick 4-ish minute trip to the “Fijian Sunset”? I will have to warn you though, once you listen to that song you will want to continue on your adventures with the rest of the album.
Maybe its my inner love for ska (ska at heart?) but there seems to be a lack of good, fun records with horns in them these days. Thankfully this album is filled with horns and keys. While the same, light-hearted musical vibe is provided flawlessly through each song, the lyrics travel onto various topics to keep the sound from becoming stale. Honestly, this album could be 18 tracks about tacos and it would still be a refreshing listen from start to finish. No matter the topic, Campbell will have you drawn in and listening. I often find myself restarting the album when I reach the end because it’s too good to listen to just once. The only way this album could get better would be by seeing the songs performed live, which hopefully those of us in the US will get the chance to do in 2015 (here’s to hoping for a US tour announcement soon). If you like music that you can sway to and a unique voice that you could easily pick out of a crowd, this album is definitely for you.