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Non-Prog CD Reviews


From Zero

Review by Gary Hill

If you like reggae but feel rather adventurous, this might be for you. On the one hand this is well rooted in traditional reggae music. The thing is, they bring in electronic and modern pop sounds to round things out and update that sound. Everything here works quite well, and there are some real shining stars on this set, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
He Who Has Ears
The opening section of this is dominated by the vocals. The reggae meets modern pop music vibe on this is solid. This is clearly more along the lines of the pure reggae end of the spectrum, though.
Keyboards are prominent on the introduction section to this. The cut shifts out to more of a well-rounded arrangement. This cut is more pure reggae than the opener was. It still has some modern elements at play, though. I love the fast paced section. It's so cool and has some great vocals.
Golden Ones (feat. Sizzla Kalonji)
With a bit of hip hop and some electronic music built into it, this cut is just so cool. It has a great vibe and sound. It's catchy and feels very empowering.
Free Up
The opening here feels a bit jazzy, but the cut turns more toward pure reggae from there. This is a catchy tune that reminds of the most accessible Bob Marley stuff.
Don't Lose Sleep (feat. Vaughn Benjamin)
There some parts in the middle of this that have a non-lyrical vocal approach that almost makes me think of throat singing. Still, this cut overall is another effective and credible reggae tune. You really can't beat it.
See Sharp
The keyboard textures that bring this into being align it with electronic music. The cut shifts toward the reggae direction but has a definite modern pop music element at play. I don't like this as much I do the rest.
If You Follow
There is some bouncy piano built into the opening of this. The cut works out from there to an electronic pop driven reggae sound to carry onward. This is fun, and not as pop oriented as the previous number was.
Sheep of Conformity
We're back into more pure reggae territory here. I love this song. It's one of my favorites of the album.
I love the vibe and groove of this piece. It's a pretty tune with a great classic reggae sound. Yet there is still a modern electronic edge to it.
Another classy reggae tune, this isn't all that different. That said, it's quite effective.
School Again
This might be the best tune here. It has this meaty, powerhouse electronic music vibe delivered in the midst of a classic reggae tune. It's a killer.
Root Down (feat. Zahira)
I like the rap in the middle of this cut quite a bit. The whole tune is a classy mid-tempo number. There are some bits of funky soulful guitar at points. This is just so classy. There are some great female vocals later in the track. They bring a real R&B element to the tune.
We Got Vibes
A run reggae tune, this is strong. It is quite percussive in nature. I love the piano and organ work on this number, too. Those bring an old school rock and roll thing to it.
Sky High
Reggae and electronic music merge nicely on this energetic, bouncy little tune. It seems like a remix kind of thing. While it's not my favorite thing here, it represents some definite variety. It's also fun and entertaining.


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