Review by Dom Vigil
The cheerful and joyous tone of Ali Campbell’s new full-length, Silhouette is apparent within only moments of listening to the groovy, laid-back reggae music. Though it has been years since Campbell left UB40, he has reunited with Mickey and Astro for this release, and Silhouette sounds more like the group than ever before, making it an absolute hit.
Silhouette kicks right off with a cover of The Beatles’ track “Any Time At All,” and while it’s uncommon for a band to begin an album with a cover rather than their own original work, it’s a smart move and a nod to Campbell's work with UB40. The opening cover of “Any Time At All” is cheerful, warm, and prepares listeners for the upcoming eleven tracks. Campbell sticks to his roots with this release, peppering in covers of other acts such as Bob Dylan and The Chi-Lites along with original material. One of the catchiest tracks on Silhouette is easily “I’m Missing You.” Campbell’s vocals and lyrics on this track are easily some of the strongest on the entire record - it’s hard not to bob your head along to the tune.
The majority of Silhouette is very well-rounded and full sounding. While Campbell’s captivating vocals are definitely one of the strongest aspects on the album, that’s not to say that the music fades into the background. The horn section specifically throughout Silhouette is very strong, giving the album a much bigger sound. A great example of the strong three-piece horn section on Silhouette comes on the sixth track, “Who Will Remember Them,” as the horns really seem to carry much of the song. One of the few downsides on Silhouette comes in the laid back, mellow tone of the album. While it makes for a relaxing, cheerful listen, it also causes some songs to blend together and sound the same. The saving grace, however, definitely comes in Campbell’s strong vocals backed up by the full sound of the record.
At the heart of it, Silhouette is absolutely a quintessential reggae album. The overall tone of this album is cheerful and happy - it’s music to listen to on the beach, cruising around with your windows down. It manages to transport the listener straight into summer, regardless of the weather. For fans old and new, Silhouette is bound to find its way into listeners hearts, or at the very least, give them twelve groovy songs to bob their head along to.
Listen to "I'm Missing You"