Sometimes the very best things in life just creep up on you. Here is a major talent who has done just that. Who is Ernie Toppin? All we know is that he walked into Dual Edge one day and played them his tape. Apparently, he's a new believer and knows little or nothing about the CCM scene. His tape coyer carries no address or contact point. But it's brilliant, it's refreshing and the only real mystery is how this man hasn't already got a major recording deal. Across various dance rhythms he creates a sublime mix of soul and mild reggae with even the odd touch of rap and ragga thrown in. The obvious reference point is Maxi Priest, with whom Mr Toppin shares a vocal sound too. For a privately recorded album the sound quality and overall production is staggeringly good and the 14 tracks provide a good hour of listening. Get hold of this album if you possibly can and help convince Ernie to step into the limelight he deserves. Maybe the Cross Rhythms journalistic nose can track him down and find out more about him. And maybe some terribly trendy person at Nelson Word will read this review and decide to beat us all to it.
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