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John Holt - Police in Helicopter (LP)

GREL 58

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Label: Greensleeves Records – GREL 58
Format: LP
Country: UK
Released: 
Genre: Reggae
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John Holt, both as a member of the Paragons and as a solo artist, had established himself as the master of pop with a multitude of love, love lost, and other typically pop-themed hit singles. However, with "Police in Helicopter", the singer reinvented himself as a more contemporary, cultural artist. The title track, a Jamaican smash, set the defiant tone, threatening, "If you continue to burn up the herbs, we're going to burn down the cane fields." "Last Train From the Ghetto" and "Reality" are cultural/Rastafarian statements of intent, while "I Got Caught" is a warning about the consequences of misdeeds. The Roots Radics provide the rootsy accompaniment, with producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes adding his signature deep roots/dubby production, with that sublime tinge of dancehall which gave the record a totally contemporary sound. Of course, Holt didn't totally break with his past, and the rest of the record contains lighter-themed. The album is a masterpiece of aural illusion, as the band slide out the fat rhythms and reggae riffs, and Lawes transforms them before our eyes. Deep roots with a twist, wave a wand and, abracadabra, Holt's songs are no longer considered MOR pop, but now appeal to a more serious audience. Police is a true classic album on which a great vocalist and songwriter comes of age

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