Calling Jeep MacNichol the most musically interesting member of the original Samples lineup is to damn him with faint praise. He's got an idiosyncratic streak and a taste for sonic adventure that's felt throughout Mr. Anonymous, a pop-reggae production featuring stellar guests from Jamaica and beyond.
Contributors include Barrington Levy, Cutty Ranks, Bounty Killer and the classic riddim team of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, as well as the English Beat's Dave Wakeling and Black Uhuru's Michael Rose, who pass the mike throughout "Good Vibe." While "PlayerHater" has some moderately heavy moments, MacNichol, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, is shooting for something Sublime, and he succeeds more often than not. Tracks such as "Always," which pivots on the toasting of Danny English and Brando, hang in the air like a smoky haze with an especially sweet scent.
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Whether or not listeners identify Mr. Anonymous, they're sure to enjoy a sample.