Beres Hammond ‘A moment in time’ (VP) 3/5

Following on from the catchy 45 ‘I feel good’ comes the album from Beres which is actually the first he has recorded in some four years. Hammond has always prided himself on his soulful vocals and indeed cut an album early in his career that is now considered a modern masterpiece with soul fans. During the mid-late 1970s he was an integral member of the Zap Pow band that cut some classic roots songs, but Beres has long since departed from that genre. Here he opts for a pop-reggae approach possibly aimed at the US market and this is a qualified success. Key songs include the theme driven ‘Dark clouds’ and ‘Talking Africa’ while his best vocal performance is reserved for ‘I’ll live again’. Sometimes the songs are just a little too sugar sweet for mainstream reggae fans and by offering fewer songs Hammond would have made the album more cohesive as a whole. Nonetheless Beres Hammond’s vocal credentials are impeccable and for long-term fans there will be something to cater for their tastes. Tim Stenhouse

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