# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Little Roy - Battle for Seattle

  by Paul Waller

published: 11 / 10 / 2011

Little Roy - Battle for Seattle
Label: Ark Recordings
Format: CD


Unlikely but thoroughly likeable collection of Nirvana covers from Jamaican singer and reggae artist, Little Roy

Before this release what did I know about Little Roy? Nothing is the answer. A quick trip over to Wikipedia tells me the Jamaican singer had the very first successfully commercial song which glorified the Rastafarian movement. It went to number one in his home country. In the words of Midge Ure, this means nothing to me. I don’t follow reggae in the slightest, roots or otherwise. The closest I got to this style of music was a little dabbling in the late Smiley Culture back in the mid 80s,. It is probable that that does not make me an expert but as with most people I know what I like if I like what I hear. Nirvana on the other hand I do love. There are only five bands I have felt so intensely about in my life that I remember each track on each album they have released in order, not only that but also each single released and the not just the year but the month the band released it in (sad I know). Nirvana is one of these very outfits. To save this reviewer's embarrassment I will not reveal the others. Needless to say I was excited when I heard about this release, to see some of my all-time favourite songs reworked and not just rehashed by some rock 'n' roll prankster like Weird Al or Richard Cheese, but by a somewhat serious recording artist was enough to stir my ever jaded listening holes. The result is 'Battle for Seattle' (awesome title by the way) and is a curious beast. I listened to this nonstop for the first week I had it. My Misses could not bear it but I found an utter joy in hearing my least favourite Nirvana tracks revitalised. 'Polly' and 'Come as You are' have become listenable once more. I thought I would never enjoy these overplayed songs again, but when I hear Little Roy’s smooth voice on top of those reggae guitar stabs it’s so utterly refreshing, as with Nirvana though these are not the album's best moments. The best moments are when Little Roy plays with the vocal pitching. 'Very Ape' is pretty clever in that it follows the same path as the original until the chorus and then alters the musical key. It comes off as spooky rather than Weird Al’s kooky takes with his cover versions. 'Sliver' has some lovely woo-woo backing vocals too that make you smile each time you hear them. and the heavy dub spin on 'Son of a Gun' simply transforms the original into a loungy skit with some great laid back vocals. It comes off as effortless without being lazy. Time will tell whether in future months or years or I will see the record as a novelty like I see Richard Cheese but for now... Top Marks.

Track Listing:-
1 Dive
2 Heart-shaped Box
3 Very Ape
4 Come As You Are
5 Sliver
6 Polly
7 On A Plain
8 About A Girl
9 Son Of A Gun
10 Lithium

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