On a cold, rainy morning in the great northwest, (27 days raining and counting) the sound of Reggae carries my mind to warmer, sunnier places that I remember fondly. I enjoyed listening to this genre while living in the Caribbean and I got a large dose of it while working for a few weeks in Antigua, West Indies.
The Easy Star All-Stars are a very respectable collaboration of a rotating roster of musicians that came together to record in New York, Florida, and Tel Aviv.
I found the music to be upbeat, crisp and musically very enjoyable. I perceived it as more refined compared to some of the “grittier” Reggae that put this music on the map. (Now, this is not a bad thing as I just got finished listening to a different CD where the lead singer was “Flat on every track”) The Lyrics are clear and easy to understand, the horns are tight and precise. The syncopated percussion is solid. The bass lines are predictably thick and do the job of keeping the groove going. There are multiple bass players and there is a fair amount of Synth Bass used on some of the cuts. The electric guitar “Skanks” the tunes up as one would expect.
This CD is a first for the group as they are sharing all original material. I was accustomed to the popular “Cover Tunes” from Pink Floyd to the Beatles I had heard from these folks in the past; I do think there is a noticeable blend of R&B, Pop and Soul in the reggae we hear.
The opening tune “Don’t Stop the Music” is one of my favorites. It has nice harmony and sets the mood for the following tracks. The feel here is happy and pleasantly contagious. The Bonus Dub track of the same tune shares some ”fun with the Studio Master mixing board”.
“In the Light” brings us a ballad with the prominent Reggae snare beat keeping it just a bit more upbeat. Very smooth female vocals and harmonious back up singers. Clear bass on this track ties it all together.
All in all there is a lot of good material here. It’s all Irie!
Visit online at www.easystar.com