Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., Sept. 7, 2007
Mr. BrownBoderation (Coinhead)
Hardcore reggae fans may recognize the name Mr. Brown, the title of an early Wailers track. Boderation, meanwhile – "troubles" – is both a lyric in that song and a Bunny Wailer cut. While this Austin outfit doesn't quite reach those lofty heights here, these dozen reggae/dancehall/dub cuts compose an irie diary. Mr. Brown also refers to singer/strummer Kris Brown, who leads this riddim big band, with Shelley King and Leeann Atherton on vox, through his original tunes. Courtney Audain (Tribe 13, Timbuk 3) is a key ingredient in the success of this debut, offering up his formidable bass skills, along with recording, mixing, producing, and mastering the platter from his Coinhead Studios in Windsor Park. The aural gestalt is three-dimensional (live horns!) with ample amounts of headphone candy like the opening title track. Overall, songs may not possess the gravity of the classics, but lyrics are conscious, spiritual even ("Don't Stray Far").