Throw Down Your Arms
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In April 2005, thirteen years after she stepped back from the brink of superstardom, Sinead O'Connor finally made the record towards which she had been building her whole career. She travelled alone to Kingston, Jamaica to record THROW DOWN YOUR ARMS at the world famous Tuff Gong and Anchor Studios. The album is a collection of roots songs which have inspired Sinead in her life and work. The legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare produced the album and many of the musicians who played on the original records were enlisted to add authenticity to the sound. The title track was written and originally performed by Studio One legend Winston Rodney, aka Burning Spear, who also originated "Jah Nuh Dead", "Marcus Garvey", "Door Peep" and "He Prayed". Sinead also interprets Peter Tosh's "Downpressor Man", Lee Perry's "Curly Locks", Israel Vibration's "Prophet Has Arise" and The Abyssinians' "Y Mas Gan" amongst other Rasta anthems. But these are tributes, not imitations. While staying true to the composers' visions Sinead has stamped each of these tracks with her own distinctive voice and personality. As Robbie observed to nobody in particular after hearing Sinead lay down a particularly goose-bump inducing vocal, "Forget the originals baby, these ARE the originals".
Top Customer Reviews
This is brave departure for Sinead, but I've a feeling that she made this album for love of the music rather than for any deliberate attempt to change direction. I think this album will introduce both Sinead and reggae to many who haven't really appreciated either before.
Her absolute sincerity and the faultless musicianship of this album make it a real treat for reggae fans and non-reggae fans alike.
I guess because Ms O Connor is a genuine artist. She does it the way she hears it and feels it, and doesn't care at all what the critics or the marketing people say.
And also because she's gone to Tuff Gong - Marley's studio - to record it, with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, as well as Mikey Chung, on guitar, who has played with Peter Tosh and Lee, Uziah `Sticky' Thompson, who's played with the Wailers and the Mighty Diamonds.
So there's a lovely crisp sound, and Ms O Connor's distinctive vocals. Sean-Nos it ain't, but you can get that from her elsewhere.
Still sceptical (and, as someone who loved the originals, I was until I heard it)?
Well, then get it cheap from one of the Amazon sellers ... ...
It has become one of my favourite albums of all time.
It's not perfect and some of the songs are less plausible than others but they are all good and some are brilliant.
If you like reggae, you'll probably love this.
(Also, I've introduced this album to lots of my friends over the years and they all love it too.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wasn't quite sure what to expect as it was a reggae style album. But strangely it works. Some good tracks. Still enjoyable though. Good efficient service as well.Published 14 months ago by KG32
Just not my sort of music. Too contrived for me, simple folk songs are best left for folk. Don't like over sugared anythingPublished on 30 Jan. 2014 by movedbymortensen
I firstly did not expect this to work but on hearing her putting her Irish voice to these root and culture pieces really gave these songs meaning from an Irish perspective. Read morePublished on 16 Nov. 2013 by DAVID HUGH DENNIS
Reviews such as that by sunworshipper who sounds as though they have not got one clue about reggae can be ignored The one thing I agree on is that the jah no dread track can be... Read morePublished on 9 July 2012 by garrysmithreggae
I have nothing against people covering classic roots tracks and to this day the cover (version) is the basis for much reggae dance hall music featuring revamped old rhythms. Read morePublished on 11 April 2012 by Archie Grimwald