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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sly & Robbie

Stepper Takes the Taxi

Review by Gary Hill

Some people really hate dub-step. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it before. But, I can’t really see why people have such an adverse reaction to it. Based on this disc I just can’t see that level of animosity. Yes, after a while it gets a little redundant. It can be seen as a little lackluster. Overall, though, it’s clearly inoffensive and I’d find it to be quite entertaining. There are moments here I like a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fistful of Horns

I really dig the way reggae is merged with something rather like space rock here. It’s a cool blend of sounds and has a great groove.

Occupy Downtown
Although the mix isn’t drastically changed here, this seems to have more of an electronic vibe. It’s also got some hints of jazz in the mix. I can make out some funk here and there, too.
Frenchman in Kingston
There is a classy world music vibe added to the mix here.
Taxi to Paris
Although there is still reggae in the mix here, this is almost pure jazz. Based on the first minute or so, this would be one of my favorites. There’s a weird little sound (it makes me think of bubble popping) that runs throughout. It’s annoying. Also, the cut goes on too long and gets a bit tedious after a while.
Stepping Revolution
This is more like it. It’s got energy, melody and charm.
Cool Ruling
Based on a jazzy groove, this feels like it could have been a theme song to some 1970s TV show. Somehow I’m also reminded of George Benson just a bit.
Taxi Tune Up
This is not bad. It just doesn’t really manage to stand out that much. The piano solo, though, manages to shine.
Horns of Kings
Here’s one that has a bit more of an electronic music basis to it.
Imminent Danger
There is a bit more energy and “oomph” to this. There are also hints of European café music. There is a bit of rock and roll in it, too. I can make out bits of a movie theme that I won’t name, too. Those things make this one stand a bit taller than some of the rest here.
Pimp My Cab
More playful, this is alright, but the formula is starting to wear a bit thin by this point.
Matera Lounge
This is basically a couple different songs with some space between them. Both tunes are good, but by this point, the whole thing is getting quite monolithic.
 
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