Across the Border

by: Freddie McGregor

Freddie McGregor's wondrous, soulful voice and engaging delivery are sometimes wasted on this mid-'80s album, issued on CD in 1992. The title track, as well as the hard-hitting message cuts "War Mongers," "Freedom, Justice & Equality" and the lyrically naive "Love Will Solve The Problems" address issues and offer McGregor a worthy forum for his glorious singing. But he's sorely tested by the cover of "Guantanamera," which was a silly pop hit and sounds even sillier in a reggae version. "Freddie" and "Work To Do Today" have awkward arrangements and vapid lyrics, forcing McGregor to waste energy and intensity trying to make them palatable. This wasn't one of his most consistent releases, but McGregor never coasts or plods on a session, even on tepid tunes. ~ Ron Wynn

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