on 7 October 2009
This album is just soooooooooooooooooooooooo good I'm amazed it hasn't got more interest. I can only put that down to the fact that a lot of people simply haven't heard them. It is heart music. Calling you home to that ancestral place from which we all started out on our journey. It's upbeat, its classy, it has the sway of African rhythm about it and yet the sophistication of Europe as well.
It's a genre all of its own almost. Superb.
If you like Marley, Tosh, Steel Pulse, LKJ and other intelligent reggae, or simply good world music you are going to like it. But let's be clear , this is not reggae, way pre-dating it spiritually. If you just like good, sexy, bright, intelligent, uplifting music with a jazzy lilt to it you're going to like this very much indeed.
And 2 CDs for the price of one album is a steal . It really is, and it's not you, the buyer that's being robbed either. Don't hesitate. You will almost certainly be very pleased with your new album, and if by some odd chance you don't like it, there will be plenty willing to buy your copy for the same price you paid once they hear it. You can't go wrong.
This is in fact 3 complete albums from the best period of the band as well as some bonus single material. This is tremendous value, really representing the peak of their creativity and their most accessible material in one package without being simply a "greatest hits" compilation.
There are good liner notes which explain the roots of the music - from "High Life" in Ghana, where the main writers and singers began their musical careers. They then met other musicians of Caribbean origin in London and so created one of the first true "fusions" of World Music.
The music has the tremendous sunny optimism of African music, combined with a more western sophistication from Funk and 16th note syncopations. I love the funky clavinet lines and deep, rhythmic bass - although this might sound like another era, to those who missed the 70s.
But this is a great way to catch up on all those styles which started to infuse music from the early 80s onwards - as the multi-cultural nature of London, meant you had Reggae and African music, side by side with US style funk and post-punk New Wave.
Sunshine Day is the big hit that propelled the band, but although catchy - it's not out of place amongst these songs and grooves. It all sounds great and the re-mastering means that this material sounds as fresh as it did in the late 70s/early 80s. Highly recommended for anybody who has an interest in how World Music came to Britain or who just likes music that makes you want to dance!