The ’69 Reggae Bonanza” is here!

Playing more in the style of reggae vs. ska, I thought I would show some love to Boss Capone. Residing in Haarlem, (Netherlands?), Boss Capone is a 4 piece that have recently dropped their latest effort entitled “’69 Reggae Bonanza.” What started out as a solo project of The Upsession’s lead singer Boss van Trigt, has turned into not only a follow up to their debut album “Another 15 Dance Floor Crashers,” but also touring around Europe as well. Let’s take a little listen to “’69 Reggae Bonanza” shall we?
1. “Capone Come Strike (Reggae Time)”- A smooth rocksteady number is found in the first song on this album. What this song lacks in number of lyrics, it more than makes up for with Von Trigt’s vocals and familiar ska/reggae beat. Grade: B+

2. “Tight Spot”-The percussion and piano sounds add much to this song about a certain area of a women’s body. Again, there are not a lot of lyrics to this song, but the overall layed-back feel make “Tight Spot” and enjoyable experience. Grade: A-

3. “Mr. Jone’s Teahouse (Oh What a Calamity)”-Rock the tambourine! This track has a bit of Jamaican ghetto type feel to it. What impressed me most about this song is that despite this being a rather “stripped down” style of music, there is still a lot going on instrumentally. Grade: B+

4. “Jesse Fox (Virginia City)”-With its spaghetti western vibe, Jesse Fox is one groovy instrumental, while still incorporating the reggae style. This song’s biggest strength is found in the organ instrumentation. Grade: A-

5. “Cinderella”-I appreciate the backing harmonization and guitar solo in this one, but overall, I didn’t resonate with this song quite as much as some of the others. Grade: B

6. “Tommygun Reggae (AKA The Tommygun Skank)”- True to its name, this is a definite dancing song. Like other songs before this one, excellent use of backing harmonization is used. The overall whimsical nature make this just a fun song. Grade: B+

7. “Toughness Injection (Version)”-Although I didn’t really understand the intro, I dug the overall creepiness of it. All in all this is a pretty solid instrumental that showcases the talent of the organ player once again. Nice job men. Grade: B+

8. “Count Me Money”-A true upbeat reggae number; this song is great! This, my friends should be your new summer jam! Grade: A

9. “Don’t Love Me”-This is a slower song, much like “Cinderella,” but I found myself enjoying this one a little more. The smooth vocals contrast nicely with the harsher drum sounds and organs. Grade: B+

10. “Eat My Candy Sweet”-Hit the dance floor again! This song will get you outta your chair. Grade: A

11. “Boss Capone ’69 Reggae Bonanza”-Ahh yes, the beloved title track. This one seems to drag a little. Grade: C

12. “Rudeboy Galore”-Another straight up reggae number, but with unconventional organ melodies. Another solid track from Boss Capone. Grade: B+

13. “Funkey Donkey (AKA Do the Funkey Donkey)”- How can you not love a song called Funkey Donkey? To me this song is a cross between traditional reggae and early Motown. I love it! Grade: A-

14. “What a Grind (Oh What a Grind)”-Not really a standout song, this is still an enjoyable number which incorporates a lot of the sounds familiar to the rest of the album. Grade: B

To be honest, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this after the first few minutes of listening. I typically like my music with more horns and this record had that “recorded in a tin shed” sort of feel to it which I normally can’t stand. As I listened on, I really began to appreciate this album for what it was; a stripped down version of reggae which is a departure from the fuller sound of the Upsessions. But just because the overall feel is more “tinny” and features fewer instruments, it did not take away from the listening experience. With 14 songs, “’69 Reggae Bonanza” will keep fans happy for quite some time. Boss Van Trigt’s vocals are easy on the ears and were a nice contrast to the paired down instrumentation. Speaking of instrumentation Boss Capone works nicely as a 4 piece, adding much variety to each and every song. The percussion and organs are the stars here, giving each song a distinct feel, all while sticking to the traditional reggae sound. Although putting out a decent record is serious business, there is nothing serious about some of the subject matter sung about. Boss Capone creates a lighthearted musical ride in such tunes like “Tight Spot,” “Funkey Donkey” and Eat My Candy Sweet.” These tracks are some of the best on the album and prove that music can be fun and at times even silly. I feel this album will grow on me even more, even after my already positive review. (Oh What a Calamity) it would be to be without this album, so check it out!

Overall Grade: B+

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