I love reggae, it’s what all this is about. Sometimes though, tunes can be a little over indulgent. Most of the time, I look for something a bit deeper, not so blatant and predictable…obscure could be the word.
However, there are some songs that I initially shy away from, but for some reason that I cannot put my finger on, I keep going back to them. It could be because I strongly associate a memory with the melody, the vibe..even the beat..the unique nature of the bass. I may not have particularly liked it the first few times I heard it played, but if it reminds me of someone really close to my heart, it begins to give me goosebumps after a few listens.
Take, for example, Chris Brown Ft. Benny Benassi “Beautiful People”. I’ll say it now - I love this tune. BUT, I didn’t when my friend drew it to my attention on MTV. In fact, I thought it was shit. Then, one day, I suddenly really wanted to hear it, loud. I even bought it on itunes (yes, I honestly did).
This is dedicated to her. Those trashy, ravy synths will remind me of the times we spent together. Always and forever. Enjoy [I am aware that this is not reggae!]
Stephen Marley is doing some great things for reggae. Consider “Break Us Apart” featuring badman Capleton: it’s being played EVERYWHERE. Highly conscious reggae, soulful. Capleton kills it, dutty flow. The first chorus and verse kinda reminds me of Bob’s “Burnin and Lootin”. Both share those classic wah guitar sounds and slightly funky bassline. Oh, but “Break Us Apart” is not cheesy in the slightest… “No Cigarette Smoke (in my room)” however IS.
I realised for the first time today that I love it, but when I heard it on 1xtra pon the dancehall show I didn’t. I now find it incredibly soothing, sensual…I’ve learnt to overlook those Bitty McLean-style g-funk smooth shifting keys and wanky guitar licks (the Spragga Benz B-side is shocking, I have to agree). Melanie Fiona’s vocals are calming and sexy too (she’s a Canadian RnB/soul/reggae Grammy winning recording artist).
Out on Street Beat, the UK label’s debut single, it’s a fine start. Mans gona get his next portion real soon!
Stephen Marley Ft. Melanie Fiona - No Cigarette Smoke (In My Room)
Enough waxing lyrical about shit, the following Greensleeves release has an element of tastefulness and commercial production values (is there no way they could have dropped that initial melodramatic voiceover ‘one blood/one destiny’ and perhaps not gone so full on with the autotune?), but hey, its rocks, plus Alborosie AND Junior Reid on one cut..this was destined to work. Nice version incidentally. Taken from the new LP ‘2 Times Revolution’.