Music » Band of the Week

B.E. Mann

Cool Runnings (Man 2 Mon Music)

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Believe it or not, Cleveland reggae soldier B.E. Mann sounds straight outta Trenchtown. His lovers rock is always solid if not blazingly original. On his 24th LP, Mann pays tribute to U.K. artists, most of them reggae greats.

Mann passes around a double-dose of THC with Jermaine Forde's "Just a Little Herb" and his own "The Ganjah Sound." French production team Bost and Bim join him on "Everybody Knows My Business," and he retools the Specials' "Ghost Town."

Despite the covers, Mann is still the star of the disc. He sings all the vocals, plays nearly every instrument, and pulls out a real surprise to close the party. In the Smiths' classic "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," Mann replaces one of music's great mandolin solos with radiant keyboard and sunbeam trumpet.

Mann could probably record an album of grunge covers, and Jah would approve.

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