Alborosie – For The Culture

by Jun 11, 2021Artist, Reviews

Alborosie - For The Culture
Fikir Amlak

Release Info

Alborosie – For The Culture

Label:  Greensleeves | Format: CD-LP-DR | Street date: June 11, 2021 | Website label

Tracks

  1. For The Culture
  2. Challawa
  3. Ginal feat. Collie Buddz
  4. Bun A Fyah
  5. Ready feat. Jo Mersa Marley
  6. Out Of The Darkness
  7. The System
  8. Never Let Me Down
  9. Unprecedented Time
  10. Life To Live feat. Wailing Souls
  11. Break My Chains
  12. Listen To The Waves
  13. Walking
  14. Where Do You Go? feat. Big Mountain

Alborosie’s Mission

With his 8th full-length vocal album aptly titled For The Culture, Alberto d’Ascola, as Alborosie is called in real life, continues his mission as a defender of reggae’s roots and culture who brings real authentic roots rock reggae in all its facets to the fans of Jamaica’s popular music worldwide. The Italian-Jamaican singer, musician, audio engineer & producer was born in Sicily, but has lived in Jamaica for about twenty years and now is proud to have Jamaica on his passport cover.

Guests

Once again, Alborosie presents revolutionary songs with the deep roots sound that has long become his trademark. All fourteen tracks featured on the album were written, produced, and performed in the darkest time of the COVID-19 pandemic using vintage analogue gear, dub sirens, reel-to-reel tape, and live instrumentation by Alborosie and the mighty Roots Radics band. Four songs were done in collaboration with guest performers Collie Buddz, Jo Mersa Marley, Quino of Big Mountain, and Jamaican veterans Wailing Souls for whom he produced the duo’s latest album Back-A-Yard.

Four Singles

Without a doubt, four of the fourteen album tracks will be sounding very familiar to the ears of the reggae fan who in previous months has been closely following the release of new reggae tunes on digital download & streaming platforms. These four tracks are the digital-only singles Ginal, which was the kick-off single to the album, the hit song Unprecedented Time, Listen To The Waves, the album’s title track For The Culture, and Ready, done in combination with Jo Mersa Marley, the youngest offspring of the Marley family. Ginal, the strong collaboration with Bermudian reggae singer Collie Buddz, is a Jamaican slang term to describe a trickster or con artist. The song, illustrated with cutting and humorous lyrics about people who talk too much, is expertly driven by instrumentation and some echo and delay effects. Ginal explores themes of greed and deception, and the overlying message: open your eyes and learn who to trust. Ready finds Alborosie and Jo Mersa Marley riding a dubby, hip hop-themed riddim based on Linval Thompson’s Jah Jah Is The Conqueror. The duo spits rapid-fire lyric upon lyric, blazing colorful imagery and wordplay that drive a compelling message. Introduced by a deliberately off-key playing of the US National Anthem, Listen To The Waves – with the indispensable denunciation of social injustice and police brutality – is a very moving and emotive tune that grows on you the more you listen to it. With Unprecedented Time Alborosie delivers a powerful anthem fitting to the current state of the world, specifically the battle against Covid-19. Last but not least, the theme of cultural pride is evidenced in the eponymous For The Culture.

Best Of The Rest

The strong Challawah sees Alborosie digging deep into Jamaican culture. The song is about that uniquely Jamaican worldview that speaks to the fearlessness of people who are not to be underestimated. Pupa Albo delivers roots and reality with the beautiful Out Of The Darkness, in which he tells the listener about the love shown while helping a loved one out of a difficult time. Never Let Me Down talks about the relief and ease some experience when they add marijuana to their meditation. The collaboration with foundation artists Wailing Souls on an excellent reworking of their 1978 Channel One hit (Jah Give Us) Life To Live fully underscores what Alborosie represents. In Walking, a song that could have been done by Bob Marley & The Wailers, his lyrics offer comfort and wisdom to people who are trodding on.

Throughout the album, the lyrics evoke the emotions and frustrations that many endured through the COVID-19 pandemic and truly tumultuous times. It’s a solid album that focuses on the noble goals of culture, the culture that is to be understood as what should come to all people! Just like his previous albums, For The Culture is sure to attract quite a bit of interest from reggae fans across the globe.

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