B.E. Mann

Bring Back the Days (Trojan Records)

B.E. Mann
Bring Back the Days is the 18th album from reggae titan B.E. Mann, and the extent of his output isn't quite as impressive as the fact that he finds the time to make the discs, what with playing nearly every instrument on this album and doing an endless series of shows that have cultivated his international following.

In fact, his career defies certain laws of physics: Real reggae is generally the direct product of ample amounts of sunshine and herb. And Cleveland has a severe shortage of one of those. But here it is: authentic, vintage dancehall and loversrock.

Mann's not perfect, torn between his faith and everyday physical needs. In "Ragamuffin Gal" and "Punanie," he finds kind words for "streetwise gals," but three songs later, he's looking for a higher love in "You Don't Love Me." By disc's end, his better nature is calling the shots. Mann praises tolerance -- too often a rare sentiment in reggae -- in "It's Alright." Bring Back the Days' vibe is strong enough to singlehandedly bring summer to the city.

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