Just over a year ago, Greg Nesbeth, who performs under the name of Nesbeth, dropped his EP called 'Victory'. After that he released a single entitle 'Taste Victory', which hit number one on the charts in Jamaica. His latest single, which just dropped, is called 'My Dream'.
Stylistically, Nesbeth performs a mix of dancehall and roots reggae. Roots reggae identifies with ghetto life and Rastafarianism, while dancehall reggae's melodies are thinner and not as heavily layered. Nesbeth's sound combines the traditional reggae sound of The Wailers with that of Eek-a-Mouse. Thus, in a sense, it's a mishmash of the reggae of the 1970s with the leaner rock-reggae of the 1990s.
'My Dream' begins with an up-tempo reggae beat, synthesizer and Nesbeth's vocals. As the melody kicks in full force, the synthesizer vanishes and is replaced by bass and chorded guitar riffs. Overall, the melody is catchy and simple, definitely dancehall. Roots reggae is apparent in the layered, harmonious background vocals that complement Nesbeth's distinctive vocals, which demonstrates excellent phrasing, probably the most difficult part of the popular reggae sound. Too many reggae vocalists try to pull it off, but in reality they bungle the phrasing. Not Nesbeth, who pulls it off with ease.
The drums on 'My Dream' deserve special mention because of their minimalism, primarily a muffled bass drum and cross-stick on the snare. The drummer makes scant use of the tom-toms, which are normally associated with reggae beats. The result is a super-clean beat that drives the song without coercing it.
'My Dream' is an excellent single. The beat and the melody enter through the ears and seep into the listener's viscera, causing hips to twitch and shoulders to sway. Great stuff! Fans of reggae should download 'My Dream' as soon as possible. The only question remaining is this: when is Nesbeth going to release a full-length album. Sooner would be better than later.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.