Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Albert Griffiths and the Gladiators

  • Country Living [Heartbeat, 1985] B+
  • On the Right Track [Heartbeat, 1989] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Country Living [Heartbeat, 1985]
There's nothing progressive and plenty idiosyncratic about Griffiths's quest for naturality, which is fine--in reggae, idiosyncrasy makes all the marginal difference. The interested will thrill to the sweetness of the gutturals, the placement of the harmonies, the shifting center of the groove. The bored will remain so. B+

On the Right Track [Heartbeat, 1989]
More than any other rootsman I'm hearing, Griffiths keeps his spirits up. Though it's no longer in JA's cultural mainstream, there's tremendous life and variety to this music--falsetto play and jazzy interactions and catchy dubs, even an Elvis cover. "It's Now or Never," in case you were wondering. And if you're still interested, it may just be definitive. B+