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on 22 September 2010
I saw the jolly Boys on 'Later' rushed to download this as soon as the programme finished.

If you're a fan of early ska then Mento will appeal to you too- more folky, instrumental and darker than Calypso. These covers really bring that out.

The headline track to get you started is probably Rehab, the arrangement really lets you hear not only the lyrics, the skill of the Jolly Boys and the brilliant vocals of Albert Minott -who most be close to 90 years old. If like me you're not familar with Mento music then the rhumba box -a tea chest with metal bars which are plucked to make a deep base sound- is a revelation.

The cover of the Blondie song 'Keep me hangning on the telephone' is my favourite track so far, but Blue Monday and I fought the Law are also superb.

Part of the joy of these types of cover albums- and something Great Expectations shares with Nouvelle Vague- is to be able to listen to great old songs again. But the greater joy is to be able to listen to syle of music which might otherwise be inaccesible or just unknown.

Fantastic album. The Jolly Boys are set to be everyone's new favourites in time for xmas.
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on 26 February 2011
I've loved the Jolly Boys since the early 1990s, when I first heard their releases "Sunshine 'n' Water" and "Pop 'n' Mento". I have since managed to track down an older album as well, but I heard nothing new from them until this new album, "Great Expectation". I have a large collection of traditional mento, so nothing could have prepared me for the song selection on this disk.

My first thought was that it MUST be a big mistake, asking these fine old gentlemen to step so far outside their normal milieu and perform covers of modern pop songs; but all it took was a first listen to convince me that this is in fact a perfectly wonderful idea. The deep, dark voice of Albert Minott (gained from years as a professional fire-eater entertaining tourists) is absolutely appropriate for this material, and in fact injects new life into songs like "Passenger" and "Perfect Day". Moreoever, the banjo (found in many mento albums past and present) adds a punkish, earthy touch to the songs. I think hearing the Pogues has prepared me for the banjo's sound in a pop context. Whatever the case, this effort works very, very well as both a mento album AND a pop album.

I can only hope that the proceeds keep these wonderful veteran musicians in comfort for the rest of their days. I urge any fan of Jamaican music, as well as anyone looking for something really fresh, unique, and yet with truly deep roots to buy it.
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on 19 October 2010
Possibly one of the most difficult collections I have ever tried to describe. Not because it's bad - in fact, quite the opposite, it is an excellent and extraordinary album. What you will find here is a series of covers of tunes by artists everyone will know: Iggy, Blondie, The Doors, Lou Reed, Johnny Cash and the Stranglers, to name but a few. All of the music is easily recognisable but touched by The Jolly Boys unique style. The interpretations are different and extremely good, the originals pushed, presumably by the producers, through the Mento blender to produce something very new and also different to any of The Jolly Boys earlier output.

Good stuff to listen to at any time, on any day; to their credit, you're very unlikely to hear The Jolly Boys on any morning radio shows, which in itself says much about them.
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on 26 January 2011
Bought this for my husband who is a big reggae fan. He loves it and thinks it is hilarious. I saw them on daybreak. It really cheers you up.
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on 26 August 2015
Like many I purchased this off the back of their Jools Holland appearance. I don't listen to this all in one go, but I do like to drop in the odd song into a mix or compilation I am making for friends. They recognise the song, but not the style. Usually people are amused and it is lovely to see their reaction. A little too much to listen to in one go, but to dip into it makes me smile, hence the four stars.
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on 25 November 2010
This is the Jolly Boys at their best in my opinion. Bought for my partner who is a big fan, for his birthday. One of his friends listened to it, then another then another, it was almost a month before he got it back.... everybody loved it.
You cant help but smile when listening to this, and you carry on singing the songs long after the CD has finished.Great Expectation
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on 31 October 2010
I bought two Jolly Boys 'Great Expectations' cd's as part of an 18th and 45th Birthday present and both birthday boys were delighted with their gift. This is a fabulous album and a great party sing-a long, the cover version of Johnny Cash 'Ring of Fire' is something it you won't be disappointed.
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on 17 January 2011
The Jolly Boys at their best, 12 tracks, very good covers of very well know songs, perfect day is exellent,
i fought the law & rehab all very good, for a four peice band they produce a very good sound, over all score i would give this cd 8/10.
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on 13 April 2012
Saw "The Jolly Boys' live at the MEN Arena as a support act for the wonderful Sade. They were and are amazing considering their ages. If you like any aspect of Mento, Ska or Reggae then buy this CD, you will not be disappointed.
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on 27 April 2011
The covers are great! Among them, the best are Rehab, Perfect Day, Ring of Fire and I Fought the Law. This cd is exactly what I hoped it would be. It's punchy, it's happy, it just makes you wanna dance throughout the summer!
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