The Congos' 1977 release, Heart of the Congos, produced by maverick Jamaican genius Lee "Scratch" Perry at his Black Ark studio, remains a roots reggae classic, and is arguably the high water mark of Perry's unique sound. By inference, Heart of the Congos was also a peak for the Congos, as well, which made their follow-up, Congos Ashanti, somewhat of a disappointment. Recorded at Harry J's for Columbia Records, Ashanti (done without any assistance from Perry) had a smooth, slick and glossy feel, and where Perry's trademark watery Black Ark sound had made the previous album seem rich, deep and mysterious, this one sounds fairly generic. Crack Jamaican session musicians like Sly Dunbar, Willie Lindo, Ernest Ranglin and Tommy McCook mean that Congos Ashantiis never a total loss, and fans of roots harmony singing will find things to like here, but just don't expect Heart of the Congosversion two. ~ Steve Leggett .