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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kwame Binea Shakedown

Roots Rock n Universal Love

Review by Gary Hill

This is one great album. Its blend of sounds range from blues and soul and classic to jazz and reggae. It's all delivered with power and passion, and it really rocks. This actually might make my "best of 2017" list. It's that good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Ain't Your Woman

Soul and blues meet in a smoking hot arrangement here. The horns add some magic to this thing. This really rocks.         

Far Away
This number has more energy. Given the last cut, that says a lot. This is more of a jazz meets soul approach. It's a different sound but related to the opening number. It is another killer slab of sound.
Setting Sun
A balladic introduction gives way to a cool mainstream rock song. There is very much a 1970s rock sound built into this thing. It even has some hints of prog rock. The break is a classy dropped down jam with some prominent percussion. This is all class.
Love Surreal ft. Vernon Reid
Co-written by Vernon Reid, there is a bit of a Living Colour vibe to this, but tempered by the kind of sound we've heard to this point. This is another hot number. It has a nice balance between the mellower more melodic side and the more rocking one. This powerhouse is one of my favorites here.
Mona Lisa
There are hints of a reggae vibe on the rhythm section here.  Overall this is more of a funky jam. In some ways it makes me think of Santana's early stuff a little.
In Your Eyes
This is a cool soulful groove. It's a lot of fun. It's a bit mellower and less intense than some of the rest of the stuff here, but that's a nice break.
Back to You
A slower cut, this lands closer to balladic territory. The horns bring something interesting to the table. This is not a bad cut, but it's not at the same level as the rest of the music here. It does have a catchy chorus.
World on Fire

Energized and rocking, this has some good hooks. The horns bring a bit of a jazzy taste to the whole thing. This is a killer rocker.

John James Poe
There is some smoking hot funk built into this thing. The guitar solo section mid-track is trippy and rather psychedelically based. The vocals come back in amidst that spacey stuff. This is one of my favorite cuts here. It just oozes cool.
Universal Love
While there is a distinctly trippy element to the verses on this, leaning toward reggae, the choruses have a real powerful 1970s rock sound to them. There is definitely quite a bit of reggae on this cut later, landing not far from some of Bob Marley's music.
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