Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders

by: Garnett Silk

A distressingly large number of great reggae artists have died needlessly before their time, many of them -- Prince Far I, King Tubby, Hugh Mundell -- the victims of politics or criminal violence. But when Garnett Silk was killed in 1994 by an exploding gas canister, the random and accidental nature of his death was especially upsetting. This excellent posthumous compilation was originally released in 1995, and demonstrates how much the reggae world lost when he died. Reissued in 2001 in a mid-priced, digitally remastered version (with a bonus remix of the title track), Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders consists primarily of King Jammy-produced songs with a smattering of productions by E.J. Robinson (including the exquisite "Cry of My People"), Jack Scorpio and Philip Smart thrown in as well. Silk's emotional, gospel-inflected voice is in excellent form throughout, and the digital dancehall rhythms his producers generate for him are consistently world-class. Highlights include both mixes of the title track, the very dread "Babylon Be Still," and a fine combination track with Frankie Paul and the up-and-coming Bobo Dread DJ Determine. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson

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