Sound — 10
This album is not something you face with everyday. And not just because it has an experimental sounding -- experimental records of this level are quite a rare thing nowadays. This is an ultimate compilation of the summer vibes that a bit doesn't fit in with the usual conception of the records of this kind. If you prefer your guitar sound to reggae and dub motives alone, but would listen to them both -- you have a chance for such an experience. The man behind this record is Jeep MacNichol, a.k.a. Mr. Anonymous -- in the '90s he was a drummer for The Samples, but later started his solo career. So one day Mr. Anonymous packed his bags, headed to Jamaica and in the next two months chased down some of the island's most influential singers and DJs for a batch of collaborations. The English Beat's Dave Wakeling, Sly & Robbie, Black Uhuru's Michael Rose, Turbulence, Bounty Killer and others have teamed up with Jeep to present their talent on this CD. Songs, all having a common spirit, vary in styles from reggae and dub to dancehall and electronica. As the result we have splendidly mixed up sound. And what is more, the list of the instruments equipped for the album looks quite curious and is not restricted within some trite ones... For all of his synth sounds, moog bass, drum and percussion programming, Jeep used one of his most favorite instruments -- Roland Groovebox MC303 -- the hybrid sequencer/drum machine/synth module/arpeggiator that has created a definite buzz in the dance world. Besides '57 Martin 0018 acoustic and '68 Gibson ES345 electric guitars, there was very interesting specimen used in the recording process -- Epiphone acoustic guitar, which cost less than $100.00 and had only 3 strings (the musician broke three strings and just kept playing with the rest ones). And that "low-fi" sound on most of the vocals tracks was produced with simple as everything genius -- megaphone.
Lyrics — 10
"There are a lot of different themes on the album," remarks Mr. Anonymous. And there are actually songs about almost every aspect of a human's life -- love ("Harmony Bus"), sex ("Sexy"), parties ("Party Tonight"), family ("Bring The Youth") and good vibes ("Good Vibe")... The title track, featuring MacNichol's vocals, is my favorite one. "Mr. Anonymous" is a song "about attraction," according to Jeep himself. Having a perfect downtempo sound, it greatly reproduces the feel put in the album. Another especially noteworthy tune for me is a lively "Get Ready." In fact, it's one of the most party tracks on the album. Effects and changes of the singers' voices on the CD are mastered primely by Mr. Jeep, each song sounds equally unique and high-quality. With the production on the top level, we have "the songs all sort of fall under the same umbrella."
Overall Impression — 8
This CD is just destined for the summer. It's not something that you should think over hardly while listening to. And it might not become a lifelong staple in your collection. But Mr. Anonymous can certainly find its way into your late summertime jams. Jeep wanted to make "ultimate chill vibe" album, and he made it. Furthermore, there is definitely something to wait for in the future -- MacNichol once said he was already working on "Mr. Anonymous 2". So stay tuned!