The reggae veteran has some of his eerieness smoothed out in a brisk and businesslike set – but his vibrato-laden voice remains spellbinding
There is an irony in Horace Andy’s present renown among British audiences stemming from his work with Massive Attack, who are now assumed to have been his patrons. For when the band approached him in the early 90s they were near unknowns audaciously pitching to a major name on the reggae scene – Andy was celebrated for his extraordinary voice, a series of outstanding records in the 1970s and early 80s and his influence on the dancehall genre.
Between the cuts collected on his 1972 album Skylarking and the remarkable work he recorded after moving to the US in 1977, culminating in the classic Dance Hall Style in 1983, Andy moved through diverse sounds and textures. His vocal style was not unique (he changed his surname to avoid comparisons with his cousin Justin Hinds), but his voice was – and remains so. High, smooth, soulful, with an inimitable fluttering vibrato, it is one of the most distinctive and satisfying in all pop.
Horace Andy review – king of the dancehall still in fine, energetic voice