MOTOR CITY SKANK

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Detroit’s reggae family tree has developed a multitude of branches and these two recordings represent two of its strongest roots. Vocalist Baaqi, a former member of Onxyz and the Nomads -- two ’80s groups -- has flowered with this star-studded collection of strong songs. While the songwriting shows skill -- "Listen to My Heartbeat" is first-class lovers rock – the consciousness themes are repetitive (i.e. "Moving On," "I’m Going Away"). But Baaqi mixes up the sounds so the music stays fresh. Star power helps -- names such as George Clinton, Earl "Chinna" Smith and Detroit gem Ras Kente make everything bloom and grow.

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