Some of the best acts I have seen live lately have reverted back to very heavy use of the keyboard to dial their sound in just right, and it has been a real pleasure to see live, and listen to. There was a very distinct period within all things music that had ruled keyboards out, and many of us critics were not too happy about it! As I sat down to listen to the new “Check me out” single, the first thing that caught my attention was the bright and bouncy use of the keys. Some of the best reggae cuts from greats like Burning Spear and Les Exodus are fully driven by the bass guitar, and these low-end goodies collide with the percussion and vocals to make songs of the reggae genre truly what they are.
The breakdowns and pauses here all remind me of many other artists who use their talents to evoke a pleasantly Caribbean sound: many who have had quite an influence on the genre such as Wyclef Jean and Peter Tosh have the definitive gift of making sure the images we think of are the absolute sun-kissed best. Where steel drums bang in the glistening light of the sun, and the traditions of many villages that are nestled along the coast, and are etching slowly away at bettering their livelihood are vividly depicted. When Chris Blackwell founded Island Records in Jamaica during 1960, he truly was starting a movement that reflected the cause of his nation in heavy droves: and I hear much of this early and trusty influence while listening to “Check Me Out”.
Not making the mistake of flaunting herself too much, and having the tact to stay in the shadows a bit as far as the mix is concerned, this track sounds like one that could have been conjured up during a time of reflection, and inward strength gathering. As many of those leaving comments on Soundcloud have agreed, all of the parts work very well together, and this is an example of someone who has taken the time to kick back and slowly analyze what works as far as writing new songs. When great bands like Steel Pulse emerged from places such as Birmingham, England, it was evident that the spirit of reggae not only had the power to win many over, but also provide a sense of community among those who agreed that the world was in dire need of a very positive overhaul. As far as the sound and production values of “Check me out” go, I really enjoyed hearing a throwback to elements that are worth their weight in gold, and foresee a very bright future for T.A.L and the goods she doles out on every new digital recording and track session.