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Eek-A-Speeka [Vinyl]
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  • To call Eek-A-Mouse reggae's most beloved weirdo is not to take anything away from Lee "Scratch" Perry, who is, if anything, weirder but who is probably more respected than beloved at this point. Eek-A-Mouse has all of Perry's goofiness without any of the latter's tendency towards actual physical mayhem or his off-putting tendency to do things like drink gasoline and pray to bananas. Instead, Eek has satisfied himself with inventing a "bing-bing-boing" school of reggae scatting whose sounds continue to echo in the dancehall, and with projecting and perfecting a happy but inscrutable persona in a musical marketplace that doesn't generally know what to do with anyone who isn't either a glowering locksman or a chest-beating, chain-wearing dancehall don. He's never delivered the goods with any particular consistency, but when Eek-A-Mouse hits his groove the results can be explosive. Even within the scope of this particular album, you'll quickly notice the difference in quality between "Press a Button" (on which Eek's laid-back delivery washes up on the rocky shore of Anthony B's manic chatting) and "I Love Weed" (on which he repeats himself endlessly and foolishly over a lame mambo rhythm). Luckily, the moments of brilliance outnumber those of lameness by about two to one, thanks in part to the often top-notch rhythms provided by producer Blacka Dread. Recommended. ~ Rick Anderson
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