Veteran reggae act Gentleman’s Dub Club released its latest album late last month. The album, Lost in Space, is an offering that will appeal to the group’s longtime fans just as much as it will audiences who might be less familiar with the veteran British outfit. That is proven in part through the album’s opener, ‘Light The Fuse.’ ‘Midnight Healing,’ which comes much later in the album’s 44-minute run time, is another example of what makes Lost in Space another appealing offering for fans of Gentleman’s Dub Club. It will be addressed a little bit later. ‘Eye of the Storm,’ which also comes late in the album’s run, is another key addition to the album’s presentation. It will also be discussed later. When these three songs are considered alongside the seven songs not discussed here, the whole of the album presents itself as a record that will appeal equally to reggae fans in general and to fans of Gentleman’s Dub Club.
Gentleman’s Dub Club’s latest full-length studio recording Lost in Space is another work from the veteran British that will appeal just as much to the group’s fans as it will to reggae fans in general. The album’s opener, ‘Light The Fuse,’ is one of the songs featured in the album, that serves to support that statement. That is due in part to its musical arrangement, which crosses the traditional reggae sound with some keyboard elements. That balance of traditional and non gives the song’s arrangement its own identity, an identity that helps to build the song’s foundation. That addition of the electronics to the arrangement couples with the song’s lyrical content to add even more interest to the song.
In regards to its lyrical theme, the song is certain to create plenty of discussion. Front man Jonathan Scratchley sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s all gone dark/But I can see now/this stepping situation got me so down/My soul keeps shaking and my spirit keeps breaking/I try to turn it down/But now it’s so loud/There’s a ringing in my ears and it won’t go/I feel the pressure on my heart and it won’t slow.” He follows that up with the song’s chorus, in which he and his band mates sing, “Light the fuse/Now we’ve got nothing to lose/Light the fuse/We now there’s only one way to choose/Light the fuse/So we have to get up and move/Now that we have witnessed the truth.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “I call up my man for medication/Ain’t nobody leading me into temptation/My brain is on a mission/We better relocate the operation.” This is an intriguing presentation in that Scratchley seems to infer (at least in this critic’s mind) something having to deal with some emotional strife, and having to deal with it. One can only hope that the line in which he sings of “calling my man for medication” is not a reference to illicit drugs. Odds are that is not what he is mentioning, but rather getting something to cope with whatever the song’s subject is dealing with. He even goes so far as to say, “Ain’t nobody leading me into temptation/My brain is on a mission/Put the keys in the ignition/We better relocate the operation.” This comes across as being metaphorical language, meant to address the efforts to combat the thoughts in the subject’s mind. Again, this is just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel. It will definitely be interesting to find out exactly what is being said here. Keeping that in mind, the somewhat unique approach of the song’s musical arrangement and this even more intriguing lyrical content proves in its own way just what makes LIS another album that GDC fans and reggae fans alike will appreciate. It is just one of the songs that shows what makes the album an interesting offering. ‘Midnight Healing’ does just as much to show why LIS is a record that will appeal to the previously noted audiences.
‘Midnight Healing’ leaves little to nothing to the imagination as to its topic. Scratchley sings in this song’s lead verse against the song’s standard reggae style musical backdrop, “I just can’t get enough/Just can’t get enough/I just can’t get enough of that midnight healing’/I just can’t get enough/Just can’t get enough/I just can’t get enough of that midnight healing/Two steps nearer to the water…Up all night/Seem overly familiar/Come now, come and pull me under/Lights on/You can bring the thunder/Up all night/Minor turning into major.” He continues in the second verse, “Shy high/Looking now a diamond/You’re a jet plane/Let me be your pilot/You and I keep on cutting through the silence/We can’t keep it quiet/You know what the time is.” It’s relatively easy to know what Scratchley is inferring here, especially considering the line stating, “You and I keep on cutting through the silence.” It would be no surprise if what is believed to be the song’s theme turns out to be exactly that. If in fact it does center on what is expected, then that coupled with the song’s laid back musical arrangement makes for a good work for couples. When considered along with the album’s opener, listeners will understand even more why again, this record will appeal to fans of GDC and to reggae fans in general. It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show the album’s appeal. ‘Eye of the Storm’ is yet another addition to the album that exhibits its appeal for audiences.
‘Eye of the Storm’ presents another arrangement that once again crosses classic reggae elements, such as the drum, bass and horns with more modern elements, such as dub and bass for an arrangement that once again proves to be everything that audiences have come to expect from the group. The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest, just as with the previously noted songs. Scratchley sings this time, “You better take cover/My premonition’s leading straight to trouble…nations have been blown to rubble/Why I throw caution to the hurricane/You better move quicker/The man has got his finger on the trigger/The pressure changes as the smoke gets thicker/So hold on tight when you see the light/’Cause I can feel it in the air tonight/I hear the wind blowin’ in/See the stars glistenin’/I’m in the eye of the storm/And I don’t wanna slow down.” Interestingly, he continues on in the second verse, singing, “There’s a way that I can get out of this atmosphere/I can take a step back/’Cause I can feel it’s getting’ near/Droppin’ in my ship I’ll take it back to where the coast is clear/And I don’t wanna slow down/I feel save/Even when there’s chaos around/I feel safe even when my voice is calling out.” It is almost as if he is saying here, that the song’s subject knows he is in a difficult situation, but also knows that it is possible to get out of that situation, whatever it may be. Once again, this is just this critic’s own interpretation, and could very well be entirely incorrect. Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark. Either way, this lyrical content is certain to generate plenty of discussion among listeners. To that end, it is just one more way in which the album shows its ability to entertain reggae fans across the board. When it is considered along with the previously discussed songs and those not addressed here, the whole of the album proves to be a record that will not get lost among reggae fans.
Gentleman’s Dub Club’s latest full-length studio recording Lost in Space is a record that won’t get “lost” among reggae fans. That is proven in part through the album’s opener, whose musical content takes audiences back to the group’s earlier days and lyrical content that is certain to generate plenty of discussion. The album’s penultimate entry ‘Midnight Healing’ shows just as much, the album’s strength with a laid back work that seems to be relatively clear in its lyrical theme. ‘Eye of the Storm’ is sure to generate its own share of interest, too, through its lyrical content. Keeping all of this in mind, and the songs not noted directly here, the whole of Lost in Space proves to be, once more, a record that will not be lost on reggae fans. More information on Lost in Space is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news and more at:
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