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Jahmings Maccow Reviews

Splend Magazine
Jahmings Maccow / New Way / Rebels Production (CD)
Sample 30 seconds of "Scamper Dread"
Born on the island of Anguilla, Jahmings Maccow has spent a considerable portion of his life wading in music. This CD is a rerelease of a cassette-only album, padded with four new tunes. Maccow synthesizes reggae, R&B, new wave and a bit of jazz into a modern day interpretation of distinctively rasta-friendly rhythms that can effectively speak to a wider audience. While the traditional reggae sounds will please any roots fan with their familiarity, Maccow also takes a few daring genre bending plunges that will be received differently by each listener, depending on specific acquired tastes. Jahmings introduces everything from guitar solos to bluesy harmonica to soulful crooning with agreeable results. New Way initially looks like something that you'd find in the bargain bin of your local used CD store, but a careful inspection of its contents shows that Maccow's progressiveness produces some true gems that are well worth unearthing. -- am

MusicDish Review
By: Ben Ohmart (Assistant Editor, MusicDish)

Artist: Jahmings Maccow & E-Rif
10153 * Riverside Dr., #260, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Title: New Way
Label: Liquid Cyber Records
Genre: Reggae

Though I've tried to label this recording as reggae, once you are past the very Marley-esque 'Scamper Dread' which opens your 12 song journey, the music goes off in so many other directions, it's hard to keep up with it. The one thing you can Really say about this New Way is that it's looking island-grown, and seems to be sweetly self-produced. On some tracks, it's like sitting in with someone very talented at his home. Sometimes he gets the guitar player in, as the quite fluid 'New Way - part II' illustrates for a good 2 minutes. Sometimes Jammings brings in his back-up girls to help 'Leave This Town'.

He relies heavily on keyboards, but the strength of the Caribbean voice and the world-flavored rock put this cd into a party-political arena seldom heard on mainstream radio in the States.

There are some tracks that could use cleaning up, unless this is their charm. The highly synth-dominated 'Doomsday' is like 2 different songs in one - acoustic, and not. There is a little drum machine in the left speaker that, early on, sounds like static of some sort. If only it were on an acoustic piano to give realism to the earnest voices, it would be a much better tune in my humble opinion.

Same for 'Pay the Price' which has a great horn sound, but mixing with the keys brings it down a notch. A pity since Maccow is a rather strong singer/arranger/composer. But this reviewer may be just oversensitive to hybrids. 'I pay the price - in parasites places / What a disgrace amongst the human race / Many are called but - few are chosen / Haven't you heard lord - Jah had risen.'

But looking past instrumentation into spirit and domino tumbling style, the New Way is a great release from the pressures of the day. You may not forget them - not with the color photos in cd booklet showing bombs, world leaders, the vast poor, the slashing of the ecology - but you will find yourself a little spiritually superior when you come away from the 51 minute disc. If the best entertainments make you think and act as well as smile, then put Maccow and his E-Rif among the best. You will find a tropical drink in your hand and a plethora of sunshine in your mirror before you're halfway thru the 1st cut.
This is probably some of the smoothest and soulful reggae music that I've heard in a long time. Great vocals, great lyrics, great all around sound and style. New Way is an album with irresistible charm and a highly alluring essence. Like a lot of reggae music, the lyrics jump out and hit you with a great sense of reality and compassion. Very intelligent songwriting and a very powerful sound. This is definitely one of the best reggae albums that I've had the pleasure to review. My recommendation comes high for this album. Simply amazing! - Michael Allison - THEGLOBALMUSE.COM

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