Pick of the Week! Michael Rose ‘African Roots’ (2005)

I waited more than 20 years for this.  All I wanted was for Michael Rose to drop an album as heavy as those he recorded with Black Uhuru.  However, for nearly two decades he tried to reinvent himself  to vibe with the dancehall/hip-hop/ style that was so popular in the nineties.  Throughout the nineties he continues to release lackluster albums like Be Yourself (1996), Big Sound Frontline (1996), Nuh Carbon (1996), and Dance Wicked (1997) – each more uninspired than the previous one.
After the release of Anthem, Rose left Black Uhuru and retired to the Blue Mountains in Jamaica to start a coffee farm. He released a string of singles in Jamaica, but nothing much was heard of him outside the island until 1989, when he was signed to RCA and released the strongly pop influenced album Proud in Europe and Japan. The deal with RCA was short-lived however, and Rose returned to Jamaica to record a new string of Sly and Robbie produced singles. He also recorded for other producers but the only albums during this period were the Japan only releases Bonanza (1991) and King Of General (1992). The Sly and Robbie produced singles were eventually released on the vinyl only Sly And Robbie presents: Mykall Rose – The Taxi Sessions in 1995 also saw his American debut as a solo artist with the album Michael Rose on Heartbeat Records. The single “Short Temper” reached #2 on the Gavin reggae chart.
In the period 1995-2004 Heartbeat Records released a total of nine albums including Party In Session: Live and a compilation entitled Happiness: The Best Of Michael Rose. Next to these albums, a great amount of different recordings appeared on dozens of Jamaican vinyl singles and several albums, including “Last Chance” which was #1 on the UK reggae charts for several weeks. He also recorded “Michael Rows the Boat Ashore” in 2001.
However, he linked up with a young studio wizard named Ryan Moore and released his best albums in 20 years in African Roots (2005) and “Warrior.”  It is on these albums that we get the hard-talking Waterhouse warrior that we had in Black Uhuru.  In my opinion, these two albums are among the best of the decade from 2000-2010.  Hands Down…

African Roots

African Dub

 

4 thoughts on “Pick of the Week! Michael Rose ‘African Roots’ (2005)

  1. when this album was released, i read a quick review, in after few lines i knew that it was my long awaited graal, i run to paris bastille to buy it straiiiight. Defintely the best roots lbum of the decade, only ryan moore , a passionate surely of the black uhuru period coiuld have produce this gem. Sly & robbie don’t live ni the the past that is why it is must have been coming from different people, even the musician are high top jamaican one, i could speak many hour of this album!

  2. for me, i wouldn’t say that ‘african roots’ & ‘warrior’ are his best albums, and I still don’t know why people slander his work from the 90′s. personally, the releases from heartbeat are my favs including ‘selassie i showcase’. i’m starting to think that it’s the fact that fans don’t really want to give michael’s solo work a chance. but i’m more of a michael rose fan then black uhuru (no disrespect) because as of now, black uhuru just isn’t really going anywhere & when they try pull things back together it never works out. michael even said that the 2006 black uhuru album wasn’t released because duckie never came back to finnish it. i don’t know why thing don’t work the way they should maybe there’s a piece missing from the puzzle that pulled everything together. more or less, i consider michael rose to be one of jamaica’s greatest artist & i put his solo work up there with the days of black uhuru becuase he basically is black uhuru. if it wasn’t for his voice, they probably wouldn’t have won the grammy. but that’s just me…

    • I thank you for your comments. In my opinion, nobody has been able to bring the best Michael Rose out in studio, record it, and lay on record like Ryan Moore did. I respect all of Michael’s work – ALL OF IT. I just thought that most of his 1990s stuff, especially the early Heartbeat stuff, was produced badly and has a very weak, digitized, “drumkit and synthesizer” sound and vibe. This is a man who spent the prime of his career backed by Sly & Robbie. You have to back him with live instruments. Ryan Moore made a decision early on that he would only use live instruments, and I think those albums stand alone. I can respect anyone who prefers his stuff on Heartbeat, just my opinion. Check your email.

  3. thx for the link MidightRaver. great interview with garth dennis!
    p.s. is there any way you can post the dub of ‘warrior’ i can’t seem to find it anywhere.

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