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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I assure you that parts of it are excellent!", 10 July 2007
By 
struts (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: True Love (Audio CD)
...as the Curate famously said of his egg to the Bishop. And that's the story of this album really, infuriatingly uneven.

The premise is the now familiar Santana-style omnibus where Toots invites a star-studded array of guests around to 'his place'. 'His place' being the very well from which ska, rocksteady and reggae (Toots is credited with inventing the term) all flowed. And rather like Ant and Dec at Buckingham Palace, some of the guests are unfortunately just never comfortable in their new surroundings.

Things get off to an inauspicious start with Willie Nelson sounding (as Katie Zerwas pointed out) like a drunk in a karaoke bar and completely fluffing his entrance on 'Still Moving to Me'. Toots does his best to rescue proceedings but Nelson does the perfect impression of a country hasbeen. The contrast will have you squirming in your seat and the producer who put this first deserves to be shot.

At its best however the album truly soars. My own favourite is 'Bam Bam', the track that, according to Toots, was misconstrued as a pro-PNP political statement by the paranoid JLP government of the day and led to him being framed and subsequently incarcerated on charges of possession. Who would have bet on this unlikely combination of Toots, randy rapper Shaggy and Rahzel, the human beatbox to pull this off? However, they fuse perfectly to inject this laid-back, lilting rocksteady classic with hugely infectious driving dancefloor energy. I guarantee you won't be able to sit still.

On this track as indeed on all it is Toots, however generously he tries to let his guests take the limelight, who emerges as the real star. Pushing sixty at the time of recording, his rosiny voice has never sounded better. He nails his entrances and never hits a bum note, each line dripping with real emotion. The man got soul!

Honorable mentions also go to the Specials' Terry Hall, who slots efforlessly back into the idiom to spruce up the 1963 hit 'Never Grow Old', Bootsy Collins who really puts the 'Funky' back into 'Kingston' ("Toots, Roots and Boots", geddit?), and Rachael Yamagata who really fuses perfectly with Toots on a smolderingly sexy 'Blame On Me'.

As much as I love this album though I can't help lamenting what it might have been with a slightly more even supporting cast and more sensitive production. As it stands it offers glimpses of heaven but is maddeningly uneven.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Toots!, 10 July 2004
This review is from: True Love (Audio CD)
There's no denying or resisting the trademark growl and gravel-rattling tonsils that are Toots Hibbert, here assisted by a panoply of celebrity acolytes on Toots' 'pension album'. It could have been dire, an old geezer propped up by patronising young (Keith Richards young?!) whippersnappers, and every now and then it does feel like some of them are having a laugh... but some stand-out tracks are worth the ticket price alone.
'Time Tough' with Ryan Adams is effortlessly magnificent. 'Sweet and Dandy' featuring Trey Anastasio is an infectious summer uplifter. 'Careless Ethiopians' with the aforementioned Stones guitarist is surprisingly wonderful, with Keef in almost angelic voice! Throughtout, Toots holds the key and commands with the voice that inspired so many in the 70s.
Elsewhere, the classic 'Pressure Drop' includes Eric Clapton on guitar... OK, but blown away by Jeff Beck's typically angular and unpredicatble playing on '54-46 Was My Number'.
One gripe - how can you improve on the original 'Funky Kingston'? Answer: you can't, and they haven't. Bootsy Collins simply sounds daft on this cover. The original, with Toots' amazing performance, stunning ensemble playing and it's simply astounding drumming, is untouchable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Love, 27 April 2011
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This review is from: True Love (Audio CD)
I saw Toots at the 02 in sheffield last year,he and the group were AWSOME!!! and i mean AWSOME!!!,he's up their with the greats of that music genre "REGGAE"
All the tracks on this are awsome you will be singing these day after day and bopping round the house it's that good.
From track 1 to the last all are worth and 100% true,the Rachael Yamagata she really puts her heart into it worthy.
The Merry Blues will really get you going it's "HOT ON FIRE",PRESSURE DROP with Eric Clampton is another track that rocks,Careless Ethiopian with Keith Richards it goes on and on and on... BAM BAM with Shaggy and Rahzel
This is the album/cd of the decade it's timeless BUY IT....10/10
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of 2004, 5 July 2004
This review is from: True Love (Audio CD)
From the man that coined the term 'reggae', Toots Hibbert, comes this fantastic summer album. I dare you not to dance as you listen to some of the greatest reggae songs ever. These new versions breathe new life into such classics as '54-46 was my number' and 'Funky Kingston' - the good news is, it really works well. Toots has such a great voice and it really shines through, the production is well up to scratch and the 'guests' add a really interesting twist. Just listen to 'Love Gonna Walk Out On Me' with Ben Harper - pure class. It's one of those albums you feel like buying in bulk and giving out to friends! How about it Amazon - bulk purchase discount! Seriously though, if you like reggae, it's a must have.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff!, 28 Jun 2012
This review is from: True Love (Audio CD)
This is one of those 'feel-good' albums that makes you wanna get up and move. Though personally I prefer the earlier, original songs these versions put a new slant on the classics. The only thing I didn't really like was the cd cover was a cardboard slip and not a hard plastic jewell case, but thats just me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Is it any surprise Amazon are sold out Xmas 2010?, 23 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. Clive L. Knight (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: True Love (Audio CD)
We all have that one CD where we run around telling everyone "...if you have only one CD in your collection, this must be it."

Well it was considered the best CD in 2004 (see below) and six years later it probably is still one of the best CD's I have bought this year.

This really is a very good CD. The only reason I cannot yet call it a great CD is that to be great you need a passage of time. But it will come.

Now I know what you're thinking. "Can this really be the best reggae CD ever (given it's a compilation with a lot of guest performers)? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement and fun I have been getting from repeated playing I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Toots CD, the most legendary reggae singer in the world, and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?

Well, make my day, and buy it now.
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True Love
True Love by Toots & The Maytals (Audio CD - 2004)
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