Ras Teo and The Naturals – Coming Home

by May 28, 2024Artist, Reviews

Ras Teo And The Naturals - Coming Home

Release Info

Label
King Solomon Records
Format
LP / DR
Street date
April 19, 2024
Contact
Facebook Artist

Tracklist

Side A
01. Mankind
02. Part Timer
03. My African King
04. Jail House
05. Captain Cudjoe

Side B
01. Blaming Me Blaming You
02. Jonah
03. Bil Back
04. Rock Of Gibraltar
05. Demon Is A Liar

Reggae Marathon

First and foremost, here’s hoping that all of our US Reggae Vibes family had a great and enjoyable holiday weekend and that everyone is enjoying the (hopefully) nice weather in your part of the world. As for me, I’m beyond livid that my local college radio station failed to have their annual reggae marathon over the Memorial Day weekend as they have done for the past 37 (yes 37) years, all but effectively putting a damper on MY holiday, but hey all good things must come to an end, or so they say. At any rate, there’s new music to get into!

Haile Selassie I

Ras Teo and The Naturals are back on the scene with a new release, Coming Home. The Swedish born, Teo possessing Armenian lineage has a long and rich history with reggae music, particularly Rastafarianism and its teachings. I had no idea that he has family, that have direct ties to Haile Selassie I, having been raised by him after the Armenian Genocide in the early parts of the 20th century. That fact alone gives Teo a major leg up, on not just reggae artists, but to the staunch practitioners of the religion that so dominates the genre. It’s interesting that I had previously heard of Ras Teo, but had actually never heard his music until drawing this assignment and despite his pedigree never knew that he has several dub releases and 6 prior albums before this one. That being said, I was anxious to see what this cat was hitting for.

Jah Business

Opening up with a Nyabinghi drum-heavy offering, Mankind was a great choice to introduce new listeners such as myself to his voice, and to reacclimate himself with those who have already been down with him. His singing is decent, with a light almost whispery delivery, more akin to Joseph Hill of Culture than say Sizzla, or Anthony B, two of the most well-known champions of Rasta, and that suits Teo’s style very well. Part Timer, the next track was the first taste of straight-ahead Jah business and it worked just fine. His band is talented and not at all overbearing, allowing the cuts to flow nicely. My African King, Blaming Me Blaming You, and the exceptional album stand out, Jail House, are perfect examples of roots reggae done nicely. Not much to complain about I can honestly say I’m a new fan. My only issue if I’m being honest is that lyrically, Teo doesn’t exactly stand out. Some of the cuts get a little repetitive (Bill Back and Rock Of Gibralter) and suffer from sparsity as far as actually delivering enlightenment, but you don’t always have to come out of a listening session prepared to write a thesis on the subject matter at hand. Does it entertain? Yes! Would I listen again? Yes! Will his fans be ultimately pleased by this offering? That, you’d have to ask them about. But as far as someone like myself who finds infinite joy in discovering new artists for the first time, and then getting to write about it, Ras Teo covers the bases with no problem and put out a product to be proud of.

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