Subtract the hard-hitting drums and heavy bass-line from reggae music and focus on the guitar (not electric) the instrumentation and in particular the voice, and what you get is acoustic reggae. More precisely, Soothing Sounds: Acoustic, the soon-to-be-released album from reggae stalwart, Richie Spice.
Already being praised for his bold move into an area of reggae much that many artistes shy away from, the eclectic Richie Spice surely isn’t doing this album for the cameras. “It’s not about show-and-tell,” Spice explains mildly.
“Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is another step in my journey as I seek knowledge and try to pour out what I have learnt into other vessels,” the uber conscious Rastaman explains.
He agrees that in reggae music, there is no real mould for the acoustic, and it is this which has challenged the singer’s creativity and enhances his overall sense of achievement on the project. Free, the first single from Spice’s acoustic set, has garnered much critical acclaim since its release and, not surprisingly, the album seems poised for international success. Perhaps even a Grammy?
With his trademark lingering smile, Richie Spice thought about the possibility of a Grammy Award for Soothing Sounds: Acoustic.
“Well, we have definitely put in work that is of the highest standard, musically. No cutting back. The truth is that we don’t judge our work based on whether or not it wins an award, however, to the world those things are considered important. Winning a Grammy will not make it a great album, and not winning a Grammy will not mean that it’s a bad album. But if a Grammy award is what it takes to make the world stop and listen a bit more keenly, then that would be a good thing,” the reggae singer declared.
Interestingly, there is precedence for an acoustic album claiming the coveted gong, as in 2010, Stephen Marley won with Mind Control Acoustic, having previously won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album for Mind Control in 2008.
Acoustic reggae has been likened to jazz and Spice, wearing the cap as producer, turns up the volume with acoustic rock, Spanish guitar, jazz and African drum beats. Soothing Sounds: Acoustic can definitely be considered a collector’s item and for Richie Spice it is a “personal, close-to-the-heart production”.
The first official single, “Free,” is currently available on iTunes and the second single “Crying”, will be released on iTunes and radio on September 25. The video for Crying was shot recently on location in Jamaica.
Other tracks on Soothing Sounds: Acoustic, which is scheduled to be released in October, include “True Love,” “My Heart” and “My Girl”.