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Non-Prog CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

While I like everything here at least to some degree, for my money these guys do best when they stick closer to pure reggae. The disc features that sound along with more pop oriented soulful music. Don't get me wrong, there is some reggae built into everything here, but some songs focus more on the pop meets soul and hip hop angle. Those tunes have a tendency to be overproduced. All that said, this is an entertaining and varied disc from start to finish.

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Track by Track Review
There is a bit of a funky edge to this cut. I love the horns on it, too. It's an awesome reggae jam. This is such a strong opener, and the little flash of hard-edged guitar at the end is an excellent capper to it.
El Bajo

More electronic in texture, the reggae grooves live on through it. This has some processing on the vocals at times. That bugs me a bit (I'm not a fan of processed vocals), but the tune is strong enough to thrive despite it. Besides, it's only here and there and not all that blatant. As you might guess from the title, there are Spanish lyrics here. While I like this tune, I definitely prefer the opener.

Soldier Dance
With some definite hip hop leanings, this is another that has a lot of electronic edge to it. I like this better than the last one. It seems a bit meatier than "El Bajo." The horn sound is cool, too.
Around The Way
More pure reggae brings this back to the sort of sounds that the opener introduced. This number has a great groove and is one of the highlights of the set. This is so cool.
More of a modern R&B groove opens this. Some of the vocals are too processed on this cut. The vocals are again in Spanish here. I like the tuned percussion on this, but beyond that, this piece doesn't really work for me. I do like the guitar fills at the end, though.
Now That You Want It
Combining that modern soul vibe with electronica, hip hop and reggae, this cut is definitely stronger than the one that preceded it. In fact, I like this number quite a bit.

A bit over-processed, this has enough cool groove and style to work despite that. It's not one of my favorites here, but I definitely like it.

We Gon Show 'Em
We're back into more pure reggae zones here. This does still have some electronic edges, though. Still, this is an entertaining cut.
Batalla en Babylon
I love the guitar solo on this tune. The number is much more of a pure reggae romp. It's also one of the highlights of the disc. It's energized and a lot of fun.
A sound like sitting around a fire perhaps opens this and serves as the backdrop for a spoken section. The cut moves out from there into more of a pure reggae jam that is among the best of the disc. This is another with lyrics in Spanish. It's also another highlight. I really love some of the electric guitar sound on this thing. There is a weird section with vocals processed to sound like cartoon characters. It even includes some cartoon sound effects. That gives way to a rap movement.
Not The One (Acoustic)
I dig this mellower groove. It has a real grounded sort of reggae meets Latin music feeling to it. There are some hints of jazz built into it, too.
Olvidaste (Reprise)
You probably have an idea what this is about from the title and parenthetical. The reggae groove is fairly organic on this, but some of the vocals have a tendency toward over-processed. Still, this works pretty well.
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