" For the record I like a lot of French productions especially the ones using live instruments and I can see good music coming out of a lot of different countries now. But along with that there's also some very badly produced music too, being put out by very inexperienced people who really aren't good enough and that's dragging the standards down. I'm not going to mention any names but I've heard quite a few tunes which would have been laughed at & would never have got a play in a dance or anywhere else for that matter 20 years ago".
Well, well, i'm afraid i could say exactly the same thing about today's UK productions,really !
(or anywhere else, for that matter!)
Frankly, there are a lot of UK artists getting praises here who would have remained totally unoticed in the days when it was performances in the dancehall - not just plays in the dancehall -which enabled the artists to break big. It is not so anymore, the process of elaborating and spreading a tune goes much faster, but often resulting in a lesser impact : no so hard to be a one-minute hero if you know how to preach to the converted! For instance, i haven't spotted many new Tippa Iries or Asher Senators in the UK.
Maybe because of information technologies, certain "artists" seem to forget the notions of patience, modesty, endeavour and determination...
In the past, most talents had gone through some severe elimination process: prove it in the dance or get lost!
Now it's totally different, you have to show yourself before you show what you can really do - it may lead to a lack of decency, and that's possibly where the problem lies.Still, does it lower the standards? Not really, as there are so many more sources to get your reggae music. Maybe the percentage of good tunes is lower but there are many more different standards.
Not written in defence of the french vocalists, most of them leave me cold to say the truth (whereas there are heaps of convincing musicians !). I'd tend to respect more someone who twists and turns his own language to fit into a reggae format, whatever feat it may be, than another who just apes the originators' patwa. Of course,if someone chooses to record in english, well, they'd better be ready to be counted by people whose native language it is. Can't believe there will ever be tons of Gentlemen or Alborosies, really, but there are also lesser-known artists from europe who sing well - with an exotic touch or not!
Yet,on a lighter note, i have heard a few examples of UK / JA artists who tried to sing in other languages for a little reggae exoticism and it turned out pretty hilarious for most of them !
As a conclusion, we can notice that a number of the best recordings in 2013 happen to be international collaborations. Do you really believe this happened by chance?