CD Real Love * [Spanner Banner] (CD 148295),
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Real Love * [Spanner Banner]

  • 1. Better Must Come
    2. Soldier Girl
    3. Little Love, A
    4. Fire
    5. Real Love
    6. Sweet Pain
    7. Missing Persons Bureau
    8. Life Goes On - (New Millenium version)
    9. Revelation
    10. Man a Earth Man
    11. Who God Bless
    12. Ladies Man
    13. Here Comes the Rain
    14. Give Love
    15. I've Been Waiting
    16. Revelation, Pt. 2
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 617749

  • Credits

    Personnel includes: Spanner Banner, Sean Paul, Lady Saw, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Richie Spice, Tanya Stephens, Prezident Brown, Yankee-B, Betty Wright, Elephant Man, Harry Toddler, Madam Dragon, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Computer Paul, Robbie Lyn, Lloyd Willis, Steve "Lenke" Marsden, Stephen Ventura, Barry Reynolds, Mikey Chung, Danny Axeman, Andrew Simpson, Star Trail Crew, Jeremy Harding, Joe Galdo, Saxy, Pickout, D. Reid, T. Thomas, Barbie, Bettie Wright, Diana King, Chevelle Franklyn, Shannon Forrester, ARP, Twiggy, Pam Hall, Leba, Cecile, Annie, Melissa, Brady.
    Producers include: Sly & Robbie, Jeremy Harding, Clive Hunt.
    Engineers include: Colin "Bulby" York, David Rowe, Cordell Burrell.
    Personnel: Chevelle Franklyn, Diana King, Arp, Leba, Pam Hall, Sharon Forrester (background vocals).
    Audio Remixer: Tony Kelly.
    Liner Note Author: Joshua Blood.
    Recording information: Anchor Recording, Kingston, Jamaica; Cell Block, Kingston, Jamaica; Kariang, Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Mixing Lab, Kingston, Jamaica; Sonic Sounds, Kingston, Jamaica; South Beach Studios, Miami, FL; Star Trail; Studio 2000, Kingston, Jamaica; Tuff Gong, Kingston, Jamaica.
    Photographer: David Corio.
    One of reggae's greatest appeals is how it uses sunny island music to portray life's difficulties. For example, on Spanner Banner's "Soldier Girl," off Real Love, even such spirit-crushing circumstances as poverty are cast in a festive musical light. When struggles are set to a backdrop of bright island music, something transcendent happens; somehow things aren't so bad, even if it's only a temporary fix that lasts as long as the song. The light grooving album opener, "Better Must Come," is another example of how Banner sheds light on the darker days. To be sure, the singer also focuses on happier topics -- love, desire, and inner strength -- and the combination of tropical music with celebratory themes makes for a purely rapturous experience. Banner takes several risks on Real Love by putting a reggae spin on a handful of popular rock songs, such as Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" and Eurhythmics' "Here Comes the Rain Again." The first features guest vocalist Tanya Stephens and is too syncopated and robotic. It sounds like a preset on a beginner's Casio keyboard. Banner should have left this hit by the Boss alone. The same, however, cannot be said for the latter, which does Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart proud. Banner's silky take on "Here Comes the Rain Again" is more like a mid-tempo soul song than reggae and stays pretty true to the original. Other remakes on the album include the R&B-styled party anthem "Ladies Man," which is inspired and features samples by Kool and the Gang's "Ladies Night." A hip-hop-influenced interpretation of "I've Been Waiting" draws heavily from the '80s Foreigner hit and uses the original song's chorus, sung by Banner, layered over R&B dance beats and rapping, courtesy of Elephant Man and Harry Toddler. Of the 16 tracks on Real Love, two songs stand out from the pack. "Sweet Pain," featuring vocalist Lady Saw, is a flirty cut that plays like a reggae mating ritual. It's very primal with raunchy lyrics, backed by thick island beats. Elsewhere, a scaled-down version of Banner's 1989 song "Life Goes On" provides the album's most sweetly inspiring moment. To his credit, Banner flavors his worthy reggae music with shades of hip-hop, bouncy R&B, and other contemporary sounds, but, make no mistake, he's no Bob Marley. However, this is a solid disc with enough banner moments on it to keep listeners smiling. ~ Liana Jonas

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