Sanchez released his first record in 1987, just as reggae's digital age was taking over the last remnants of acoustic instrumentation. Blessed with a smooth voice and a range that could put some opera singers to shame, Sanchez became a dancehall sensation. While a majority of his contemporaries have been relegated to obscurity, Sanchez remarkably has continued to chalk up hit after hit, despite the current that flows against him.
For over two decades, Jamaican charts have been dominated by DJs. Slowly, singers are starting to reclaim the charts back home, and Sanchez is beginning to get his props once again. Always the ladies' man, Sanchez is most comfortable singing lovers' rock. His thoughtful originals are tasteful and deserve to be more celebrated. Unfortunately, his penchant for covering bland pop songs by the likes of Boyz II Men and Britney Spears has cast him as somewhat of a lightweight among reggae traditionalists.
Still, Sanchez remains a Jamaican favorite for obvious reasons. At his most creative, he stands as one of reggae's best singers of love songs. He has worked with nearly every contemporary producer of note, both on the island and abroad. Cuts such as "Blaze a Cup" and "Sha La La," off his new album, Stays With Me, find the singer in top form, maintaining his consistent standard of hits over the past 15 years.
Opener Terry Linen follows close on the heels of Sanchez in the lovers' market. With his self-titled debut out on VP Records, this youth exhibits all the promise of his previous singles. A more appropriate stage-warmer could not have been chosen.