Aswad

Aswad

Roots Revival

Ark 21

For more than two decades, Aswad has been a major force in reggae. Instead of resting on their past achievements, they continue to produce an irie of the highest quality. Roots Revival has been five years in the making. After the deserving success of Rise & Shine , Aswad has again brought forth the great harmonies and rock-steady smoothness that has made them the lasting force they are.

The “revival” at hand is Aswad’s interpretation of many songs recorded in days gone by. Of course Marley is represented on “Thank You Lord” and “Caution.” Yet, bands who saw less exposure like the Jamaicans and the Gladiators also get their “props”.

Although there are no real musical or stylistic departures from what one might expect of founding members Tony Gad and Drummie Zeb, you will still be captured by the positive vibes and rhythms on “Freedom Street” and “Follow.” Tunes like “My Love” and “Peace Truce” continue to pass the message that is desperately needed in today’s society. Hopeton Lewis’ bouncy “Take it Easy” will get you one step closer to the weekend. The band also got a little help from a top Arab singer, Cheb Mami, for “The Best Times of Our Lives”. This vocal diversity works quite well. And to make the most of it, a dub remix is featured. A cover of the Police’s “Invisible Sun,” which originally appeared on the X-Files soundtrack, has been included, (yes, Sting does share in the vocals).

Experience tells me that a new Aswad release is a “can’t go wrong” proposition — considering most tracks are from reggae’s true roots, you gotta know Roots Revival is an awesome tribute and celebration of culture.

Ark 21, 14724 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403, www.ark21.com

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