Indubious’ Latest LP Will Certainly Appeal To Reggae Fans

Courtesy: Easy Star Records

Reggae act Indubious is keeping itself busy this month.  The band is scheduled to launch a new tour April 15 in Portland, OR.  The brief tour, which is scheduled to run through June 19 in Yuba City, CA, is in support of the band’s latest album, The Bridge.  Expectations for the 13-song album, released Friday through Easy Star Records, are high considering the success of the band’s 2017 album From Zero and its follow-up, 2019’s BeleafFrom Zero debuted at #6 on the Billboard Reggae Chart and #8 on the iTunes Reegae Charts.  Beleaf improved on the success of its predecessor, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart and #2 on the iTunes Reggae Charts.  This shows that the group’s work throughout the years is paying off.  Keeping all of this in mind, Bridges meets expectations.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content alike.  ‘Neva Bow (ft. Zion I),’ which comes early in the record’s 52-minute run is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Life Joyful (ft. Jah9),’ which comes later in the record, is another example of what makes the album successful.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Undeniable (ft. Wookiefoot)’ also shows what makes The Bridge notable among this year’s new reggae albums.  It will also be discussed later.  All three songs noted here are equally important to the success of The Bridge.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes The Bridge an album that will connect equally with Indubious’ established audience base and reggae fans alike.

Indubious’ new album The Bridge is a presentation that will appeal widely to audiences.  That includes the group’s established audiences and reggae fans in general.  This is proven collectively through the record’s musical and lyrical content.  The group wastes little time supporting the noted statements, too.  ‘Neva Bow (ft. Zion I),’ which comes early in the album is just one example of the record’s success.  The song’s musical arrangement is a welcome break from the normal reggae arrangement featuring the same old same old keyboards, drums, and guitar. Rather, the arrangement opts more for a rap type approach here.  Yes, the standard reggae sound is present, but it takes a back seat to the noted more commercially accessible influence in this case.  The steady beat and bass line pairs with that all too familiar reggae work to make the whole a unique, welcome change of pace this time out.  That infectious musical arrangement pairs with the song’s equally accessible lyrical theme to make it stand out even more.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Neva Bow (ft. Zion I)’ matches the song’s title well.  Early on, the statement is made, “We got the strength to move a mountain.”  So it doesn’t take long to support that statement.  Already, the group is delivering a message of mental and emotional strength to listeners here.  There is even what seems like a reference to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the statement is made, “You think a virus gonna stop us now?/The ground shook/We’ll never bow.”  This, along with the all too familiar mentions of Jah and so many other commonplace reggae lyrical items will appeal just as much to audiences.  What can be inferred overall here is that the song is meant to inspire listeners not to give up, even in a difficult situation like what is happening globally now.  That the song’s musical is so infectious, that message is certain to resonate with listeners even more.  The whole here is just one example of what makes The Bridge appealing to the noted audiences.  ‘Life Joyful (ft. Jah9)’ is another example of  what makes the album successful.

‘Life Joyful (ft. Jah9)’ stands out because this time out, the group opted for a more R&B style influence as the center for its musical arrangement.  Yes, the standard reggae sound is there once again, but once again it takes more of a backseat to the noted primary influence.  It is another welcome change of pace from the standard that runs through most of the album.  The laid back, relaxed energy in the arrangement and the general effect of the instrumentation and vocals makes the arrangement in whole another memorable addition to the album.  When the positive vibes that the arrangement generates are paired with the optimism generated through the song’s lyrical content, the whole makes the song stand out even more.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Life Joyful (ft. Jah9)’ comes across as another familiar topic.  In this case, the song takes on the topic of just living life the best that we can.  While not all of the lyrics here are able to be deciphered without a lyrics sheet, enough can be deciphered that this educated inference can be made.  The mention of how people “commune in love but say negative greater” is a brief but powerful statement that helps to certify the noted inference.  There is also a mention early in the song that mentions a person wanting “to ascend and avoid disaster.”  This is that metaphorical language that references wanting to be better and avoid the trappings of the world.  It is pretty much par for course in the reggae community.  That aside, it still resonates just as much as in any other reggae work.  When it pairs with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole stands out even more.  It is just one more example of what makes the album successful.  ‘Undeniable (ft. Wookiefoot)’ is yet another example of why reggae fans will want to hear the presentation.

‘Undeniable (ft. Wookiefoot)’ is perhaps the most unique of the songs featured in The Bridge, at least in regard to its musical arrangement.  The reggae leanings that flesh out so much of the album are here.  But that reggae sound is countered soundly (no pun intended) by a much more mainstream, almost pop sound in its contemplative approach.  The keyboard line and basic bass drum pairing creates an almost ethereal feel while the vocals join in to make the song even more emotional.  The two distinctly different elements are expertly balanced here to make the overall arrangement one of the album’s most unique arrangements if not its best.  The emotion generated through the song’s arrangement is just one part of what makes the song notable.  Its lyrical companion adds its own depth to the song.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Undeniable (ft. Wookiefoot)’ is another positive, uplifting work that will move listeners.  At one point, listeners receive the confirmation that “You’re the only miracle that you’ll ever need/You’re undeniable.”  That affirmation is something that any and every listener will appreciate. The refrain that “the ship is always safe at the shore/But that is not what it’s built for” adds to the impact of the song’s lyrical content.  It is a reminder that people have to take risks.  They have to leave those places of safety and security, but that is because, as the other line notes, “You’re the only miracle that you’ll ever need.”  Add in the comparison of the shine “in each and every eye” to the sparkle of the stars in the sky and that message promoting confidence gains even more strength.  Again, when this obvious message is paired with the song’s radio ready musical arrangement, the whole makes clear why the song stands out.  In turn, it proves even more why the album is worth hearing.  When this song and the others examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes unquestionable, the album’s appeal.  To that end, the whole of the album becomes a work that will connect with every reggae fan.

Indubious’ brand new album, The Bridge, is a record that any reggae fan will find appealing.  That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content together.  The record’s musical arrangements do show plenty of the all too familiar sound and approach that is taken with most records in the genre.  At the same time, it also changes things up a bit, making for some added interest.  The songs noted here support that statement.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds even more to the album’s appeal.  That is because, as with the musical arrangements, they are familiar to reggae fans.  The lyrical themes are those of unity and positivity in so many ways.  So when those uplifting themes are paired with the record’s musical content, those aspects add even more interest to the presentation.  Again, the songs examined here support the noted statements.  When these songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the whole becomes a work that any reggae fan will find worth hearing at least once.  The Bridge is available now.  More information on the album is available along with Indubious’ latest news at:

Websitehttps://indubiousmusic.com

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/indubiousmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indubious

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‘Down To Earth’ Will Appeal To Gentleman’s Dub Club’s Established Audience Base As Much As The Band’s Existing Albums

Courtesy: Easy Star Records

Reggae band Gentleman’s Dub Club officially returns Friday with its latest album, Down to Earth.  The band’s sixth album and eighth overall studio recording, it is everything that audiences have come to expect from the group, musically and lyrically.  Those aspects will be examined here.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  When the elements are considered together, they make Down to Earth yet another work that the group’s established audience base will enjoy just as much as the band’s existing catalog.

Gentleman’s Dub Club’s latest album is a work that will appeal equally to the band’s established audience base and to reggae fans in general.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question carry the same reggae based stylistic approach that the band has taken throughout each of its existing albums.  The difference here is that the band has opted to switch things up slightly.  Case in point is a song, such as ‘Moonlight Dreams.’  This song’s arrangement presents a touch of retro disco and R&B influences, what with the use of the strings and keyboards.  The combination of those elements makes the song its own unique presentation within the bigger picture of the album.  The album’s title track meanwhile incorporates some rapping in the whole.  The result is an immediate comparison to works from the likes of   Pitbull.  ‘Last Chance,’ which fittingly comes last in the 36-minute record’s run, incorporates a lot of electronics into its mix to give the song quite the interesting club style work.  That is even with the band’s ever-present reggae styling in there, too.  Between these unique arrangements, the more pure reggae styles, and other hybrid approaches, the overall musical picture painted by Gentleman’s Dub Club this time out is something that audiences will find familiar, and slightly updated.  That mix of familiar and new makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment within itself.  It is just a portion of what makes the album appealing for the group’s target audiences.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements add their own appeal to the overall presentation.

The lyrical themes featured in Down to Earth are important to examine because of their own accessibility.  Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘Honey (ft. Hollie Cook).’  The song is straight forward here.  It is a clear “come hither” type of love song.  It finds Cook singing as the song’s subject, telling a man, “Sweet honey/You taste too good to be true.” She adds, “Whispering/From a golden throne/The sweetest sin/Queen bee in the honeycomb…Surrender to the siren’s call…Desire takes control of me/Your warm embrace sets me free.”  Simply put, this is a reggae style slow jam, and it will definitely become a fan favorite if it already hasn’t. 

‘Smile,’ the album’s penultimate track, is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  It is a reminder to listeners that as bad as things can get, they can also get better.  This is a familiar lyrical theme within the reggae realm.  Front man Jonathan Scratchley presents that reminder right from the song’s lead verse as he sings, “I get this feeling every day/I wanna run/But I know that I should stay/Just want to hear the music play/But all these little things keep getting in my way/Every time it starts to rain/Don’t you worry/It’s OK/’Cause the sunshine isn’t very far away/If you just smile/Then the whole wide world will smile with you/No matter where you come from/Or where you’re going to.”  This is, again, a familiar theme in the world of reggae, but is just as welcome today as in any instance past and present.  The rest of the song continues in similar fashion, lyrically speaking, so there is no real reason to go on from there.  The message is clear and welcome. 

‘Sugar Rush,’ it could be argued, is lyrical companion to ‘Honey.’  This time, the vantage point is that of the man instead of the woman, with the man saying the woman “gives me a sugar rush.”  Obviously that’s pretty blatant metaphorical language, and it makes for its own appeal to listeners.  ‘Moonlight Dreams’ meanwhile is its own musical mix of modern and vintage influences with a lyrical theme that once again is another love song.  Looking at all of this lyrical content and that of the other songs not noted here, no   doubt is left as to the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  The lyrical themes, like the record’s musical arrangements are everything that fans of Gentleman’s Dub Club have come to expect.  Taking that into consideration, that whole shows again, why the album’s overall content will appeal largely to the band’s established fan base.  It may even bring in some new audiences.  While that overall content does plenty to generate appeal for the album, it is only a portion of what makes the album work as well as it does.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The sequencing of Down to Earth is important to note because of its role in the album’s general effect category.   As noted already, the record’s arrangements are largely everything that audiences have come to expect from Gentleman’s Dub Club over the years.  However, the band does change things up slightly here and there throughout the record.  The sequencing ensures that those subtle changes mix in with the band’s more familiar stylistic approaches just enough to keep things interesting from beginning to end of the 10-song record.  What’s more, listeners who pay close attention to each song will also note subtle changes not only in the arrangements’ stylistic approaches, but also in their energies.  ‘Castle in the Sky’ opens the record on a relaxed note before giving way to something more up-tempo immediately after in ‘Down to Earth.’   ‘Honey’ slows things down again, putting listeners “in the mood” before the record moves in a more lateral direction in ‘Sunshine Revolution.’   The song is relaxed, too, but not the slow jam that is ‘Honey.’ ‘Moonlight Dreams,’ with its aforementioned disco and R&B elements picks things back up noticeably.  That relaxed vibe continues on through ‘Moonlight Dreams’ before things pick back up slightly in ‘Night Shift’ before pulling back again ‘More Than Memories.’  From there, the record’s energy picks back up – to a point – in its last trio of songs to finish things off.  The short and simple here is thus:  The rise and fall in the album’s energies is so subtle but clear throughout.  It keeps the record’s pacing moving fluidly throughout the album.  That along with the importance of the sequencing in terms of the songs’ stylistic changes, makes fully clear why the album’s sequencing is just as important as the record’s content.  When that content and sequencing is all considered together, the whole makes Down to Earth a presentation that will appeal to Gentleman’s Dub Club’s established fan base and to more casual reggae fans alike.

Down to Earth, the latest album from Gentleman’s Dub Club, is a continuation of success that the band has enjoyed from each of its existing studio recordings.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  For the most part, the arrangements are everything that the band’s established audiences have come to expect from the group.  Though, there are some changes interspersed throughout the album’s arrangements that new and old fans alike will appreciate.  The lyrical themes featured throughout the album are important in their own way the whole of the album.  That is because of the accessibility of the themes.  The sequencing of the record’s songs finalizes everything, ensuring the album never gets monotonous, and succeeds in the process.  When it is considered along with the record’s overall content, the record in whole ensures its own success among the established fan base of Gentleman’s Dub Club and reggae fans in general.  Down to Earth is scheduled for release Friday through Easy Star Records.  

 More information on Down to Earth is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.Gentlemansdubclub.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/gentlemansdubclub

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/gentlemansdub

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No Shades Of Grey, The Green’s New LP Is One Of 2019’s Top New Reggae Records

Courtesy: Easy Star Records

Reggae outfit The Green released its latest full-length studio recording last week.  The Hawaiian-sextet’s new 15-song, hour-long record Black & White is one of the most welcome surprises from the reggae realm so far this year.  According to the band’s own members – Caleb Keolanui (vocals), Ikaika Antone (keyboards, lead vocals), JP Kennedy (guitar, lead vocals), Zion Thompson (guitar, lead vocals), Brad “BW” Watanabe (bass, vocals) and Jordan Espinoza (drums) – the album’s title is a reflection of the band’s minimalist approach to the record.  That simplistic approach to the album’s musical content is just one of the album’s most important elements.  Its lyrical themes couple with its musical content to add even more interest to its whole.  Together, they do plenty to make the album appealing from start to finish.  That is evidenced early on in the form of ‘Good Vibrations.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Wake Up,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another way in which the album proves itself a surprisingly enjoyable offering from The Green.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Chocolate & Roses,’ which comes just past the album’s halfway mark, is yet another example of what makes Black & White stand out in this year’s reggae realm.  It will also be addressed a little later on.  When it is considered along with the two other songs noted here and the album’s remaining dozen songs, the whole of the record becomes a piece that is one of this year’s top new reggae records.

The Green’s new full-length studio recording Black & White is a strong new effort from the Hawaiian reggae band that will appeal to fans of performers, such as Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and Gabby Pahinui.  That is evidenced through the minimalist approach taken by the band to the album both musically and lyrically.  One of the songs that serves to support that statement comes early on in the album’s run in the form of ‘Good Vibration.’  ‘Good Vibration’ opens with the band’s members singing a capella before bringing in a steady mid-tempo guitar riff that couples with a steady beat on the timbales from Espinoza.  As the song progresses, the rest of the band joins in, creating a three-part harmony that creates a positive, easy-going vibe that translates quite well to listeners.  That simple musical approach makes the song’s equally uplifting lyrical content to make the song in whole one of the record’s strongest additions.

Keolanui sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve been traveling for so long now, you know/Around these islands/Just to show/With a good meditation/Can cause a good vibration/Turn a bad situation/Into a fine afternoon.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “So listen up, listen up/’Cause we’re gonna fill your cup/’Cause we like/The joy that it brings us/And yes, we take it everywhere that we go/To people we’ll throw/These big love grenades/And we’re on target almost every time…no we don’t care about things that bring us down/And we gotta let you know/That I’ve got that good vibration.”  Keloanui continues in the song’s final verse just as positive, stating he just wants positivity for others, encouraging support for others.  There really is no grey area here.  It is all…well…black and white.  The message is one of optimism and hope, and it is delivered with total clarity.  That positive message, coupled with the song’s equally uplifting musical arrangement, is certain to achieve its goal of empowering listeners and lifting them up.  That clear, simple message and equally simple, accessible musical arrangement makes the song in whole a clear example of what makes Black & White a strong new entry in this year’s reggae field.  It is just one of the album’s standout entries.  ‘Wake Up,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another positive addition to the album.

‘Wake Up’ stands out because its arrangement is another surprisingly enjoyable non-traditional reggae work.  The arrangement opens with an easygoing bluesy guitar riff that couples with Watanabe’s bass to form a solid foundation for the song.  Once Keolanui and the rest of the band joins in, the arrangement develops a slightly more traditional reggae sound that still is balanced well with that early bluesy sound.  The two sounds together create a unique sound that stands solidly on its own merits.  The positive vibes that the arrangement establishes in listeners’ minds is made even more encouraging by the song’s uplifting lyrical theme.  It is a theme that even the most devout Christians will appreciate.

Keolanui sings in the song’s lead verse, “As your times start to get rough/And you fear you’re losing love/It’s ‘cause you never took the time to trouble/The one and only man above/My friend, God.”  From there, he and his band mates sing in the song’s chorus, “You gotta wake up, brother/Open your eyes/You gotta wake up/It’s time you realize.”  The second verse continues in similar fashion, with Keolanui singing about a person spending so much time drinking and smoking, doing negative things, yet wondering why things are going badly.  He reminds people about having faith in God to make things better.  Again, the message is clear, even if some of the lyrics are not so clear without a lyrics sheet.  The message is clear enough that it is obvious what is being discussed in this case.  Keeping that in mind along with the subtleties of the song’s arrangement, the whole becomes a song that will appeal even to people who might not necessarily be the most devoted reggae fans.  When it is considered along with ‘Good Vibration,’ the optimism of both songs shows even more clearly just how much Black & White has to offer listeners.  It is still not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Chocolate & Roses,’ which comes just past the album’s midway point, is one more example of the album’s strength.

‘Chocolate & Roses’ stands out musically from its counterparts already discussed here as they do from each other and the rest of the album’s works in terms of its musical arrangement.  This song’s arrangement presents some of the strongest comparisons to Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz that the album exhibits.  It is a simple, laid back work that utilizes Keolanui’s vocals, Espinoza’s work on the bongos, Watanabe’s bass work and a steady, easygoing, tropical guitar riff to create a whole that is one of the album’s most memorable arrangements.  With summer only around the corner, one could imagine this playing during a couple’s romantic getaway at the beach.  Of course, as with the other songs noted here – and the rest of the album’s songs – that impressive musical arrangement is just one part of what makes the song work.  Its lyrical content is just as notable as its musical arrangement.

Keolanui sings in the song’s lead verse, “Fireworks going off on a new year’s day/Like a dozen roses on the fourteenth of February, yeah/Like a beautiful day in the start of spring/Like an April fool I watch the smile it brings/I’m all you need girl/I’m all you need/Like chocolate and roses…are all you need.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Like a cloudy day in May/I’ll be there/Like the sun, it shines on a summer day/Like a chocolate pie on the fourth of July/Like a cool breeze on an August night/I’m all you need.”  The similes don’t end here, with more refrains of the chorus and even more in the song’s third verse that are just as simplistic.  That simplistic approach to the song’s message once again leave no doubt about what’s being said.  This is a love song, and one that with the right support, could be the love song of this summer.  It, along with the other two songs noted here – and the rest of the album’s works – could be one of the year’s biggest surprises from the reggae realm with that same support.

The Green’s new full-length studio recording Black & White is a work that is worth the green paid for the album.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  Reggae fans and the band’s most devoted audiences alike will agree with that statement.  That is made evident through all three songs discussed here, as well as the rest of the album’s works.  From start to end, the album stands out as one of the year’s most surprisingly unique reggae offerings to date, and one of the year’s best in the genre.  More information on Black & White is available online now along with all of The Green’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thegreen808.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheGreen808

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheGreen808

 

 

 

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Gentleman’s Dub Club’s Latest LP Will Not Be “Lost” On Any Reggae Fans

Courtesy: Easy Star Records

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:

 

 

Website: http://www.Gentlemansdubclub.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gentlemansdubclub

Twitter: http://twitter.com/gentlemansdub

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Come From Far’ Shows How Far New Kingston Has Come, How Far It Can Go

Courtesy: Easy Star Records

New Kingston released this past August, what is the group’s fourth full-length studio recording when it released A Kingston Story: Come From Far. The 10-song offering was the band’s fourth overall album and came almost seven years from the release of its 2010 debut In The Streets. That actually bucks the trend of most mainstream acts regardless of genre, which typically sees acts release the same number of albums in a 10-year period. This latest effort is everything that audiences have come to expect from New Kingston both musically and lyrically, though there are at least a few songs that stand out this time around including ‘Agape’ and ‘Solid As A Rock’ — both of which would fit easily into any mainstream Top 40 pop radio station’s rotation — and ‘Starlight.’ Of course, this trio of songs is only part of what makes this album another work that will appeal to the group’s fans. The album’s seven other songs not noted here combine with the more directly noted works to ensure the album will keep listeners engaged and entertained throughout its 32-minute run time.

New Kingston’s fourth full-length album A Kingston Story: Come From Far is, over the course of its 10-song, 32-minute run time, everything that audiences have come to expect from the group. This applies both musically and lyrically. Of course some of the songs featured included in this record do stand out from their counterparts. ‘Agape’ is one of those standout offerings. Musically speaking, the song easily fits into any mainstream Top 40 pop station’s rotation. The guitar and electronics couple with the group’s vocal delivery make the song a gentle, accessible presentation that will reach a wide range of listeners. Of course the song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes it stand out. Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement. In regards to its lyrical theme, the song is a moving song about believing in love no matter what. That is proven as guitarist/vocalist Stephen Suckarie sings in the song’s lead verse, “Some people search a lifetime/A lifetime/Tryingto find a love like mine/So I thank the man above for sending me love like this/Though I wasn’t looking, my heart found it/So you can’t give up on love/Love is everything you need in life.” the rest of the song continues in very similar fashion, with that central message of not giving up on love remaining throughout. That positive message is one from which every listener will benefit, and the fact that the group didn’t go over the top in its delivery makes it all the more impacting. When it is coupled with the song’s equally gentle and emotional musical arrangement, that pairing shows clearly why this song stands out on New Kingston’s new record. it is only one of the record’s most notable additions. ‘Solid As A Rock’ is another of the record’s most standout offerings.

‘Solid As A Rock’ stands out from its counterparts — just as ‘Agape’ — in no small part because of its musical arrangement. The song’s arrangement does present something of an old school reggae sound. However, the group doesn’t let it dominate the song. Instead, it incorporates more modern guitar and keyboard lines into the song to make it more up-to-date. The use of those more modern influences in the song’s arrangement makes it another easily accessible and radio ready addition to this record. Of course as is the case with ‘Agape’ again, this song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes it stand out. Its lyrical theme is important to discuss, too. That theme is one of self-determination and persistence, thus the song’s title ‘Solid As A Rock.” That theme is best illustrated in the song’s final verse in which the group sings, “One day/Oh, one day/things are gonna change/What doesn’t kill me/Can only make me stronger/Growing from the pain…Got to make the best of what this world has given you/It’s up to you…unconditional, you know that we’re solid as a rock.” Similar wording is used earlier in the song as the group addresses naysayers and life’s general challenges. All things considered, the same message of “staying solid as a rock” remains throughout. Keeping that in mind, it is clear here that the group is sending a very positive message that, again, applies to listeners of all ages. When it is coupled with the song’s laid back musical arrangement, that pairing creates such a positive vibe that it makes the song stand out that much more among its counterparts. It is still not the last of the album’s most standout songs. ‘Starlight,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is one more notable inclusion in this record.

‘Starlight’ stands out because of the pairing of its musical arrangement and its lyrical theme. The song’s musical arrangement is a clear throwback to reggae’s roots, with its guitars, keyboards and drums. Even its upbeat tempo is familiar. Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t necessarily stand on its own two feet. However, when that arrangement is coupled with the song’s lyrical theme, which is one of a love song, that pairing makes the song in whole stand out. The group sings of a man who is in love. In fact, it starts off with the statement that “Love is the greatest thing.” From there the group goes on to sing of a man who will love a woman unconditionally, singing, “when the sunlight fades away/And the moonlight starts to wake/Let the sunlight guide the way/Bring your loving my way. This is just the chorus of course. The group sings of all the positives that a woman brings to a man’s life, even calling her a blessing from the heavens and a queen. There is also mention of a man never letting a woman go and working to make sure things work. It would have been so easy for the group to go over the top with way too schmaltzy wording. But it really didn’t do that, nor did it even get away with itself in its delivery of its words. When this is considered with the power in the song’s arrangement, that pairing becomes a whole that stands out among today’s love songs. When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and those not noted, they make the whole of the record a work that is certain to win applause from the group’s most devout fan base and maybe even garner some new fans. That could include fans who come to the group’s upcoming live shows on its winter 2018 tour, which launches Jan. 24 in Albuquerque, NM. The tour currently runs through Feb. 18 in Colorado Spring, CO and includes performances in Seattle, WA; Bozeman, MT; Eugene, OR and a number of other cities across the midwest and west coast — weather providing.

New Kingston’s new album A Kingston Story: Come From Far is a work that is certain to appeal to the group’s most devout fan base while also possibly earning the group some new fans. That is due to a mix of familiar musical and lyrical material and some newer material that fits easily into any mainstream Top 40 pop radio station’s rotation. Between that material and the group’s more familiar material, the whole of the album proves over its 10 songs and 32 minutes to be another strong new effort from the group. It is available now in stores and online. It likely will be available at the group’s upcoming Winter 2018 tour stops, too. more information on A Kingston Story: Come From Far is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://newkingstonmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NewKingston

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NewKingstonLive

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Count Rebelution’s New LP As Another Of 2014’s Best Indie Albums

Courtesy:  Easy Star Records

Courtesy: Easy Star Records

Rebelution released its fourth full length studio effort this week.  Count Me In, the band’s latest album, is an equally impressive piece for any reggae fan regardless of one’s familiarity with the California-based quartet.  Eleven tracks comprise Rebelution’s new album.  Among the songs included on Count Me In are a handful of pieces that are rooted in the standard relationship issues.  The band also delves once again into the socially conscious roots of reggae on other tracks on the record, too.    One of the best of those socially conscious songs is ‘More Love.’ This song is especially important considering the state of the nation’s youth today. Another of those more socially conscious songs is the album’s penultimate track, ‘Against The Grain.’ And while it isn’t necessarily socially conscious ‘Roots Reggae’ pays homage to the socially conscious roots of the genre that has made the band a fan favorite. This trio of songs stands out most to this critic. But they aren’t the only songs that will impress listeners. There are eight more songs from which listeners will find their favorite(s) on this album. And in listening to said songs, audiences familiar and not so familiar with Rebelution’s music will agree that there is plenty to like about this record.

Rebelution has crafted an album in Count Me In that is just as good a first impression for new audiences as it is a re-introduction for those that are more familiar with the band’s body of work so far. One of the key pieces that stands out as proof of this is the socially conscious song ‘More Love.’ Front man Eric Rachmany sings in this song, “More love/That’s what we need to succeed/Not dollars/Not what we need/Let’s give them love/So the youth can achieve.” This critic’s interpretation of this chorus is one that says this nation’s youth need to be more loved, plain and simple. Maybe if kids were more loved, there wouldn’t be so many school shootings. Maybe there would be less bullying. Maybe kids wouldn’t be afraid to try and succeed. It may not necessarily be the message that the band was trying to send. If not, then apologies are in order to the band and its fans. Rachmany sings in the song’s second verse about looking in the mirror and seeing things more clearly. It serves to heighten the message of togetherness and support. Rachmany comes across as saying that if we see more clearly, we’ll have more empathy and more love. In turn, we’ll give that love to the next generation so that that generation can succeed where this generation failed. That socially conscious vibe isn’t relegated to just this one song, either.

Much as ‘More Love’ pays homage to the roots of reggae with its socially conscious lyrics, so does the album’s penultimate track, ‘Against The Grain.’ The song’s closing verse is the one that best highlights this. Rachmany sings in the song’s closing verse, “To power through and through it’s a constant struggle/But we got what it takes for sure to survive/Alright…well they same I’m out the game/It’s me against the grain/Come on rise.” He comes across as saying to listeners, don’t be afraid to stand tall and proud. We can survive no matter what people will say and do. Reggae is known for boasting positive lyrics of all kinds. It’s not all just protest music. It actually serves even more of a purpose. And this song in particular proves just that. Because it does, it makes Count Me In all the more enjoyable for listeners no matter how familiar audiences are with Rebelution.

‘More Love’ and ‘Against The Grain’ are both prime examples of Rebelution carrying on the long-held tradition of reggae presenting an important social conscience. There is at least one more track included in Count Me In that presents that conscience. It presents the conscience in question in a manner slightly different than that of the previously noted songs. The song in question is the aptly titled ‘Roots Reggae.’ The song harkens back to the days of Bob Marley with Rachmany singing, “We’re groovin’/Nothing like roots reggae music/Now turn it up/I wanna lose it/Nothin’ like roots reggae music/We’re groovin’/The rhymes of the music/It’s alright…You wanna jump/You wanna shout/You wanna stand/You wanna shout it all about/I let the owner know/The music got you, yeah.” It’s a celebration of the joy brought by the music. And the use of the keyboards, horns and drums to craft such a vintage sound makes the song all the more a celebration and joy to take in. Whether it be this song, one of the others mentioned here or those not mentioned, audiences will each find at least one reason to be *ahem* “counted” among those that call themselves fans after listening to this record.

Count Me In is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/count-me-in/id860352132.   The band is currently on tour in support of its new album. It will be in New York, New York tonight and at the House of Blues in Boston, MA tomorrow, June 12th. The band also has a performance at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina scheduled for June 20th. Tickets can be purchased for that show online at www.bandsintown.com/event/7925266/buy_tickets?affil_code=fb_29914385736&artist=Rebelution&came_from=128. Fans can see the band’s most current tour schedule and keep up with all of the latest news from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/rebelution and http://www.rebelutionmusic.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.   Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.