Eva Lazarus More Fyah Review
Being asked to review any album is a minefield waiting to be detonated. Some will agree, some won’t, while some will wait to dissect your spleen with rusty utensils, armed with full membership to the Tone Deaf Society of their choice. It’s nice to get the occasional present.
On reading the YouTube reviews of this album, I decided to listen a fourth and fifth time, just to see what I had been missing; just to see if there was more to add to my original thoughts and reactions. On the basis that PauzeRadio is a roots reggae experience, and a superb one at that, More Fyah falls down on most aspects of that simply understood term. Conversely, were I asked to review this 12″ vinyl compilation as a fusion of contemporary music’s, cross genres, with a little reggae added for extra fun and spice, then we’d be in business!
Let’s make one thing crystal clear! Eva Lazarus is an EXTREMELY talented lady. Hailing from Bristol, and backed by the marvellous Mungo’s Hi-Fi, this bright, breezy and energetic tip-toe from rap, hip-hop, pop, reggae and ska is not one for the roots reggae connoisseur, but close to being the go-to album when the sun streams in through the windows, and you’re looking for something upbeat and ‘dancey’ to bounce around to. That’s not to pass Eva’s introductory efforts as a dance album as each of the ten tracks are so different, and a nod of the cap to so many differing types of sound. As a confirmed reggae and soul man, I personally tapped in to More Fyah and Babylon Raid, although I dare you not to tap feet and hand to the catchy, clever and quirky Amsterdam and single material, Light As A Feather.
More Fyah kicks off with Eva’s own version of Norman Cook’s 1990 chart success, Dub Be Good To Me, although, to be picky, I didn’t think much had been done to change the catchy original, while many of the ensuing tracks were a tribute to her love of various black music. Described as ”Sharp, sassy, sexy, slick and hugely entertaining” by Urban75, it becomes quickly apparent that Eva is an accomplished ‘chameleon’, skipping between genre and eras with an easy dexterity only found in the truly talented. Personally, I didn’t connect as much with tracks such as Gasoline, Bad Gyal and We Weren’t Made For This; the latter a contemporary mix of ska and pop; almost a girl-band sound. But Eva’s own talents, for me, are under-played on this album. Easily, she could sing or perform anything, from the early days of Billie Holliday and Bessie Smith, through the soulful sounds of Minnie Ripperton, Linda Lewis and reggae giant, Janet Kay. In truth, she’s wasted doing covers of old pop sounds as the clarity of her voice and delivery are far better than that. Meanwhile I look forward to the ensuing visit from my postman. Keith Palmer