UB40 Embraces Vocal Tranquility with 'Unplugged' and 'Greatest Hits' Compilations Image

by Biko Kennedy

"This is the first time we've taken iconic UB40 tunes and done them in an acoustic style," says Ali Campbell. "It all sounds very fresh. It's completely unlike anything we've done before."

Embodying the classic-tinge of Reggae’s early years paired with the delivery of finger-snapping, gospel-esque harmonies and certainly irresistible replay worthy moments, the double-disc opus spins as a time capsule Reggae lovers have longed for and can now fully embrace.

Channelling the essence of Jimmy Cliff on Many Rivers To Cross, the vibrancy of Lord Creator’s Kingston Town and the showmanship of Eric Donaldson’s Cherry Oh Baby, UB40 brought curious listeners on a compelling musical journey, up close and personal with the here and now, while saluting the greats that have paved the way for today’s musical geniuses.

Among the highlights on the album is a new version of ‘I Got You Babe’, featuring vocalist Ali Campbell’s 22-year-old daughter Kaya Campbell, who sings the lines originally performed by Chrissie Hynde when the track topped the UK charts in 1985.

Another original to be given a fresh sheen is 1986’s ‘Rat In Mi Kitchen’, with Terence Wilson (Astro) again providing talk-over vocals. “That song was based on a real incident,” recalls Ali. “Astro came over to my house in Balsall Heath to talk about lyrics, but I didn’t want to talk about the band, as I had a rat hiding behind my washing machine! Some people thought it was about the government of Margaret Thatcher, but it had nothing to do with politics.”

At the end of if all, there’s no denying the impeccable legacy of the band with the opus offering an inventive spin and a summation of Reggae at its best.

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