- "Love Has No Boundaries"
Even with the great catalog of music Beres Hammond has produced over the years, this new album stands out as one of his best collections of songs.
For thirty years Beres Hammond has been involved in the music industry and he has done it all. He writes, produces and has, arguably, one of the most identifiable voices in Reggae music today. Who hasn’t fallen in love while grooving to a Beres song? Which man hasn’t used a Beres tune as part of his “beg back” ploy? And who knows how many babies resulted from Beres’ music? Ask any Reggae aficionado what is his favorite Beres (after thirty years, we all know him on a first name basis) tune and they would be hard pressed to choose just one.
|Beres has poured his smoky-sweet voice—an instrument of subtlety and power reminiscent of an Otis Redding or a Teddy Pendergrass—over every kind of riddim track, from the funked-up reggae jams of the ’70s fusion band Zap Pow to the lush instrumentation of his 1976 album Soul Reggae to the spare digital beat of his 1985 dancehall breakthrough “What One Dance Can Do.” In 1990, his album A Love Affair for Donovan Germaine’s Penthouse label raised his popularity to new heights. Cuts like “Tempted To Touch” and “Who Say” with Buju Banton are still as effective in the dancehall today as they were as pre-releases. The ’90s proved to be Hammond’s decade, during which he blazed a trail of modern classics for a variety of producers, from the strugglers’ anthem “Putting Up Resistance” (Tappa) to lovers’ laments like “Come Back Home” (Star Trail) and “Double Trouble” (Steely & Clevie).
Don't be deceived by Beres Hammond's cool profile. The playful smile, the unassuming demeanor, the beard and the cap and the spectacles might lull you into forgetting that you're in the presence of an awesome musical talent, Jamaica's greatest practicing singer songwriter. He is as known for his beard, cap and glasses as he is for his love songs. Anyone who has had the honor of conversing with Beres would agree that he is remarkably humble and grounded. The man is just cool! His songs are always pertinent—from “Putting up a Resistance” to “No Disturb Sign” to “Who Say.” These songs are for us. We understand because we have been through these things. There is never a feeling that Beres is in search of a hit. It always seems that he is singing from the heart and drawing from his own experiences and, by extension, ours. “Father bless me with a song,” he pleads on the last cut of his last album, MUSIC IS LIFE, “to make the whole world sing along. The blessings keep coming!
For Beres, as the title of one of his albums suggests, music truly is life. “We no stop make tune,” he explains. “Every day, each vibe you get, just come natural. You can sing about this and sing about that and sing about the next . . . . Just make some songs man. Songs about everything: love affair and life itself, ups and downs and your brothers and sisters trying to survive in the street. It's for real. No fantasy business. We don't rehearse them, just make the vibes flow.”
|His words couldn’t be more truthful, and have manifested into even more great music. Beres’ new studio album “Love Has No Boundaries” takes his audience down a familiar path, with romantic ballads and mid-tempo dancehall grooves. ‘There For You’, ‘All For Me’ and the title track ‘Love Has No Boundaries’ are all traditional tracks that will have the fans looking for more. “Thank Fe Mi Pride & Joy” with Buju Banton combines Beres’ sultry vocals with Buju’s distinct dancehall flavor while “Good Old Dancehall Vibes” with reggae legend Big Youth are sure to go down as classic Beres Hammond music.
One pathway that Beres takes on this album is the inspirational cuts that appear on “Love Has No Boundaries”. “Let The Good Times Roll”- in which he tells his brethren to forget their struggle at home and, let the good times roll- to quiet-storm war consciousness of “Weary Solider” and the sultry and soulful tempo of “Let It Flow”, where Beres sings “don’t let the fight in you disappear, hold on to that feeling and let it flow.”
|The formula that has blessed Beres with a thirty-year career is still working today. He continues to transcend time and deliver classic reggae music to his main audience as well as the increasing international audience. Beres’ music conveys a sound that will live on as long as the music keeps flowing. Hopefully, Beres will be around for another thirty years or more so that his music can continue to bridge generations and take us into the future of pure reggae.