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Twenty Four Seven [Import]

Ub40 Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 5.68
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ali Campbell's Last Album with his group UB40 July 19 2008
By Bill Anthony - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The shocking announcement in early 2008 that Ali Campbell was departing UB40 after 30 years leaves the group's future in serious doubt. This album was already completed at that time, and had been delayed by the group to allow Ali's great 2007 solo album to run it's course.
It seems very likely after listening to TWENTYFOURSEVEN that the group made some additions to the album in an attempt to prepare fans for "UB40 without Ali Campbell". Of the 17 tracks, 5 songs feature other group members, 3 feature guest artists, and 1 features new recruit Duncan Campbell.

However, that leaves 8 tracks with Ali on lead vocal, and they are all classic UB40, making this album essential. (Ali Campbell lead vocals: End Of War, Lost And Found, This Is How It Is, Rainbow Nation, Once Around, Instant Radical Change Of Perception, I'll Be There, Middle Of The Night)
TWENTYFOURSEVEN is an awkward-but-enjoyable farewell to the UB40 many of us have adored for most of 3 decades.

note:
UB40's previous album, Who You Fighting For, was possibly their best ever.
Don't miss that one or Ali's solo album Running Free. Both albums are powerful, fun, and musically compelling reggae.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album July 14 2008
By Leah Fay - Published on Amazon.com
After their 2006 release of "Who You Fighting For", the group sounded better than ever, and a more unified-sound came back. Their new album builds upon that newfound sound, and trumps it. Even with the departure of their lead singer and keyboard player prior to this release (Duncan is featured on one of the tracks as the lead singer), the tracks are amazing.

From the danceable track "Dance Until The Morning Light" with Maxi Priest, to their heritage of telling it like it is in "Oh America", the album simply rocks.

Just buy it. You won't regret it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UB 40- More than "Red, Red, Wine" Aug. 18 2008
By Patricia Graham - Published on Amazon.com
This CD is fantastic! The arrangements are great- and it definitely reminds me of their original sound!
I sure hope this CD gets play in the US! The Lads definitely deserve it!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best album in years... July 16 2008
By Luis F. Romero Mojica - Published on Amazon.com
excellent album from an excellent band....too many good songs in it....my favourites being mmmmm.....all of them.....check out "i'll be there", "this is how it is", "lost and found", "end of war", "rainbow nation", "here we go again", "the road"....ahhh every singer in UB40 takes his chance on this album.....seems to be a new era, a new sound for the band since the "Who you fighting for" album.....buy it right now....
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant swansong Feb. 7 2009
By Carsten Knoch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
An elegant, slightly dark and dubby swansong, Twentyfourseven affirms for the last time what a strong and intelligent reggae band UB40 was. Forging its own path on the periphery of reggae, and - at the same time - somehow propelling the genre into the future by keeping it anchored in one-drop while dancehall and hip hop threatened to transform it into another `lost' music, the brothers Campbell and their bandmates always had a strong, lyrical and sweet sound. Their evident love of classic ska and reggae singles from the 60s and 70s resulted in a seemingly neverending string of singles in the 80s and 90s. Cynics might say that they just found new ways of selling the same old music to white people again; but, as their best-known album titles affirmed, their cover versions were really labours of love.

Twentyfourseven is less upbeat than many of the other recent UB40 efforts. It's also more coherent and demonstrates (too little, too late, perhaps) how and where reggae and hip hop connect in the UK. Much of it sounds surprisingly like those delicious reggae tracks on Massive Attack's first two albums. There's a dubby flavour to Twentyfourseven that sometimes puts Ali's vocals a little further down the sound stage and surrounds them with almost King Tubby like reverb (a counter-intuitive move, of course, for reggae traditionalists who would expect the dub plates to come after the album tracks). On `Lost and Found,' he sings,

Anybody could be me | You could be standing here | It's so very easy | For me to disappear | No-one seems to see me | It's as if I don't exist | I'm going nowhere | And I know I won't be missed (from "Lost and Found")

I think that the autumnal keyboard pads and other melancholy sounds are, in a manner of speaking, a reflection of what happened to UB40 in the late 90s and 2000s to date. Largely forgotten by the record-buying public, filed under "Easy Listening" in record stores, doing the de-facto nostalgia circuit and adrift in terms of label distribution (Twentyfourseven did not see a North American release), the last 10 years can't have been an easy journey.

More than listenable, Twentyfourseven is reggae that embodies, in a way, a fresh take of my generation's first grasp of this music: too young to have been attuned to Marley, Tosh, Culture and Jimmy Cliff in the 70s, I think I may have heard UB40's first Labour of Love around the same time I first heard Marley. To be sure, Twentyfourseven is also very modern and has an up-to-date sound, somewhere between Jamaica's own one-drop revival of the last few years and the aforementioned UK trip hop. And Ali Campbell's voice is still interesting and unique - lyrical and instantly recognizable, it lends a lyricism and romance to UB40's music that many other reggae acts simply don't have.

Campbell has now left the band to pursue a solo career. His departure was poorly handled, as the press releases on the band's website amply illustrate. Not cool, not classy, and maybe a little too 80s.

His initial solo product is not that encouraging: the production is too high-pitched and tinny, and - despite some interesting collaborators - the whole thing falls rather flat as a record. But, like Queen or INXS, UB40 is ultimately as defined by its lead singer's voice as it is by its material. It stands to reason that if Campbell finds his solo feet, his music will sound just like UB40's. UB40, though, without him, will not. To keep the cash cow going as long as possible, the anthologizing has already started: this year's Love Songs begins the journey of preserving UB40, with Ali Campbell as lead singer, for generations to come. Whether the rest of the band continues to record and perform as UB40 is quite irrelevant.

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