Zion High Productions
November 18, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
It's clear to say that Reggae Musik in its purity, is ever roaring forward whilst retaining its Roots and Branches. Total commitment! That's what happens when you link veteran UK singer with the ever reliant Zion High Productions - the result is "Rootical". This landmark set is an eclipse of the Heart and Soul. The grace and wholesomeness exceeds any limitations or expectations. This is the right direction for King's Musik!
Lloyd Brown was born in London to Jamaican parents and began his resounding career in 1979 on great sound systems like Marcus, Exodus and Eastman. After a brief exodus to Jamaica, he returned and joined "Sweet Distortion"; a group that enjoyed huge success from 1984-7. Embarking on a solo career, he linked with Robert Rib's Unity label and his first singles were "Music Medley" and "Ring Up My Number". In 1990, he scored his first of many number one hits with "You Can't Hurry Love". Around this time, he began a long association with fellow legend Tippa Irie and scored with "Stress" (leading to a shortlived contract with Arista Records in 1995). The following year, he released his debut set, "Straight No Chaser". In 1998, he linked with Saxon for the rootsier "Rhyme & Reason" and began a long association with Jet Star.
In 2001, he linked with Bitty McClean for the pivotal "Deep"; which is a piece of UK Reggae history! He continued the magic with "Dreams To Remember (2004, VP Records), "Said & Done" (his first self production, Riddimworks) and the great "For Your Consideration" (2009). His live performances are regal, as displayed in 2004 with Sanchez touring Europe. His appearance at The Monterey Reggae Festival (California) was sensational and this man was on the shortlist for the 2005 Reggae Grammy nominations. "Rootical" is Mr.Brown's 17th album to date...
"Rootical" displays the consummate professionalism of Zion High Productions. It resonates the degree of excellence that have made their recent Cornell Campbell, Glen Washington and General Jah Mikey albums some of the best in recent memory. The linking of ZHP, I-Grade and Lustre Kings is brilliant and a decade strong. Maximum mention to Ras Elliot Leib (ZHP) whose decades of experience prove so valuable and to Joshua Chamberlain, whose tireless devotion made sure this classic got out proper. As always, this set features the cream of players of instruments. Style Scott, Squidly Cole, Dean Pond, Craig Taylor and Jr. Richards (drums). JAH David (bass). Kaz Simmonds, Tippy I, Noel Aiken, Peter Pan (keys). Chet Samuel, Tippy I, JAH David, Moon Bain (guitars). Balboa Becker, Garrett Kobsef, Derrick Harris (horns) and Norman "Twinkle Brother" Grant, JAH David, Hakeem Potter (percussion). Vocals were laid at Lloyd's Riddimworks Studio (UK). Riddims were laid at Zion High (FL), Aqua (St. Croix) and Tuff Gong (JA). Great production from JAH David, Lloyd, Moon and the legendary Roland McDermott.
"Rootical" steps in with Live In Love. A gorgeous and stripped down plea for us to live peacefully with "the minimum of fuss". Great songwriting, delivery and absent is a multilayered mix that has been on previous Lloyd Brown albums. The music and message is clear and present. Keep On Moving On is bliss! A forward track that is straight no chaser. The gritty realism from Jahdan Blakkamoore is great with Lloyd's ultra smooth delivery. The title track is blessed with great horns and taut drums from Jr. Richards. A good over evil track; this track features the growing maturity of Pressure Busspipe. Boom! What You Sow is an unapologizing gesture from Lloyd that really puts him in the legend status. Over an Aswad style horn section and rocking riddim, he sounds truly with authority. Standout selection here. Not From Me continues in great manner. An outstanding riddim lays the foundation that Lloyd uses so well. He wisely tells us of negativity is available but not from him. Reality track that is smart and thoughtful. Winds Of Change is a free flowing song aided by Dean Pond's rimshot and Lloyd's subtle backing vox.
Have I Got Through To You is a tour de force. Squidly Cole offers a killer drop and Moon's guitar work is solid. Lloyd's delivery is smooth as silk and soulful as a bowlful of ital stew. Amazing work. Na Na Na is one of the few Love songs on this track. No stranger to Lovers sound, he takes the crown with a skanking riddim that features different music styles that works perfectly. I Don't Think You Heard Me continues in the Lovers vein. He offers up a story that really draws you with great lyrics and delivery. How Could I featuring Yisreal Immanuel is crucial. Yisreal's delivery is Inergy and Lloyd's ode to Life is intoxicating fe real. What a conscious piece. Together with Queen Omega is amazing. A soulful track that brings out the best of both singers, with the help of a totally organic riddim that demands second and third listening. Before this masterpiece closes with the Nyabinghi flavoured Can't Lose Sight, Lloyd gives us Just One Time. This song opens with Moon's wailing guitar and Tippy I's seasoned bubbling and Lloyd pores out his Heart like it's his last song! A keen observation of living Life to its fullest.
"Rootical" is the apex of Lloyd Brown's career. Yes, this is his 17th album and they're all good. The combination of the players of instruments, producers and singer is brilliant. Everyone knew something special could and would be achieved. EVERY track is a surefire winner and is of strong, strong structure. No need for glossy mixing and dubbing when you have singer and musicians of the highest caliber. Don't hesitate - get this instant classic and you'll be drawn into the magic. Highest recommendation! GO DEH!