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on 28 March 2017
As ever Mr Wardle exceeds expectations
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on 8 May 2002
Great introduction to Jah Wobble, probably his most accessible 'pop' record. There is a bit of everything here, but always with that heavy dub bass driving with music. Unlike many other so called 'world music crossovers', this always sounds natural, and doesn't take itself too seriously. From the trance like 'Bomba',the wild Turkish stomp of Erzulie, and the whimsical reggae of Wonderful World. Inspirational Music!!!
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on 7 September 2008
This was an important album for Jah Wobble, because it was his comeback. He had been the bassist for Public Image Limited in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but although he did a fantastic job he ended up spending a lot of the 1980s out of the music scene entirely. Rising Above Bedlam nowadays sounds a little old-fashioned at times, and it is a mixed bag, but the good stuff is very good. It's an excellent reminder of the kind of world techno that was very trendy at the time.

"Visions of You" was one of the singles, and remains Wobble's most distinctive and memorable track. It has Sinead O'Connor on it and everybody who has heard it likes it. It's one of those universally admired singles, like "Heroes" or "Good Vibrations" that everybody likes and admires. It has a simple chorus which goes round in a circle. "Bomba" was the other single, and is the other stand out, although it sounds dated in a mid-1990s ambient-ethnic-world-techno way. It has vocals by Natacha Atlas, who was to early/mid 1990s ambient ethnic techno as Bjork and Elizabeth Fraser were to avant-drum'n'bass a couple of years later.

The rest of the album doesn't match these two songs. It's as if Wobble was unsure of the ethno-ambient stuff and wanted to write some fairly conventional pop/rock songs as well. Wobble's voice is distinctive, to put it kindly, and although it works on "Visions of You", where he sounds world-weary, he generally just sounds tuneless. "Relight the Flame" is a plodding ballad, "Ungodly Kingdom" is a frantic mistake. A lot of the songs are brought down by old-fashioned, 80s-style drum machines. Wobble's talents lie in his rock-solid dub bass and his avuncularity, in that he gets on well with people and can therefore bring a lot of different talents into the mix. He's more a kind of musical foundation than a front man.

The title track is an odd throwback to Public Image Limited, a spoken monologue over bass guitar. However the album picks up immediately, with "Erzulie", which also has Natacha Atlas on it and is superb, haunting, distant - although it is rudely interrupted by a brassy part that sounds like the verse from Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills". I can't stand that bit.

"Everyman's an Island" is a skippable twangy dance track, i.e. it feels good to skip past it to the next track, which is "Soledad". This also has Natacha on it again, sounding a bit like Bjork. It's a slow, moody ballad, and it makes me regret that Wobble didn't have a big rethink and hire Atlas for the entire album. "Sweet Divinity" is ruined totally by a poor-quality synth brass arrangement, "Wonderful World" is just poor, and both tracks have Jah Wobble singing on them, a bad thing.

So then, "Bomba", "Visions of You" - an all-time classic - "Soledad" and "Erzulie", oddly enough all the ones with women on, are good. And the rest is not good and you will listen to half of each track, once. That's about sixteen minutes of good stuff and a lot of filler; Wobble got better over time.
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on 19 June 2002
Approachable, accessible, collection of world grooves that were well before their time: Wobble was in there at the start with Transglobal Underground (Natasha Atlas providing vocals for Erzulie and other knockout songs), dragging many listeners away from four-four 124 bps Eurocentric "pop", and maybe not too strong to say "No Wobble, no Sawnhey/Singh/Buddha Beats". Buy it and be converted.
Course, lots of Wobble's other stuff is completely unlistenable, so be careful what you buy after this one.
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on 21 September 2013
Having a hard time finding a copy, but finally found a copy on amazon and this album still is a thing of perfection. Jah Wobble ruled then as he does now and with guests such as Sinead O'Connor it is a true listening pleasure.
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on 14 February 2006
Some standout tracks here. "Erzuli" and "Bomba", but best of all the dramatically atmospheric "Soledad". Some great contributions from the Invaders make for a convincing 'global' album. But, I can't help thinking guest vocalists on the likes of "I'm Coming Back" and "Ungodly Kingdom" would have benefitted the album overall (Wobble must surely realise his own vocal talents are limited?). As would leaving out the awkwardly pretentious 'experimental' title track (if there is any humour on this track it's applied so thinly it's more likely to leave you wincing than smiling): "Oh look mummy, a speed restriction... a nightclub hostess... a tube of industrial adhesive!". Lyrical "meanderings" which are not saved by the eventual "These are a few of my favourite things". Overall, if you can put up with it's one dreadful flaw, there's some real winners on this album that'll occupy your heart for good.
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on 14 July 2015
Excellent item very pleased with it thank you
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on 10 May 2002
Great introduction to Jah Wobble, probably his most accessible 'pop' record.
There is a bit of everything here, but always with that heavy dub bass driving with music.
Unlike many other so called 'world music crossovers', this always sounds natural,
and doesn't take itself too seriously. There's a bit of everything here, from the trance like 'Bomba',
the wild Turkish stomp of Erzulie, and the whimsical reggae of Wonderful World.
Inspirational Music!!!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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