Home Read Classic Album Review: Lee (Scratch) Perry | Jamaican E.T.

Classic Album Review: Lee (Scratch) Perry | Jamaican E.T.

You'll be hearing plenty of voices on the Jamaican dub master's zillionth release.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


If there ever was a fine line between genius and insanity, reggae legend Lee (Scratch) Perry erased it decades ago. And the demented dub master continues to work both sides of the fence on the fabulously freaky Jamaican E.T.

This 60th solo album (give or take a few dozen) finds the 65-year-old Perry just as inventively unpredictiable as ever. Instead of delivering his usual spaced-out, knob-twiddling mixes of sticky reggae, Perry flip-flops the formula — on these 15 cuts he keeps the music pure while using his surprisingly supple voice as the variable. Instead of one vocal line per song, he lays down two or three unrelated tracks, rambling away about Jah, LSD, telepathy and aliens. Sometimes it reminds you of a trio of homeless people bickering. Or maybe it’s just the sound of the voices in Perry’s head arguing. Either way, he’s still the brother from another planet.