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Tarrus Riley Contagious

Reminiscent of classic Sugar Minott or Gregory Isaacs, Jamaican roots crooner Tarrus Riley smoothly blends conscious lyrics and lover’s rock. Yet even though Riley’s a bit of a throwback, the production on Contagious is very modern. Highlights include “Love’s Contagious,” a re-lick of Bob Marley’s “Coming in From the Cold”; a timely cover of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”; anti-violence anthem “Living the Life of a Gun”; “S-Craving,” a slinky tale of infidelity; “Herbs Promotion,” a ganja tune with DeMarco and Vybz Kartel; and “Start a New,” which finds Riley counseling a woman to end an abusive relationship. “You got to love yourself before you love someone,” he sings in a voice sweeter than sugar cane and intoxicating as rum.

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