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Chalwa

NewRootz

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this act. I think I liked that one better, but that's because it was less focused in one direction. That disc, while reggae at its core, had a lot of other musical references. This one is more firmly set in the reggae zone, but still incorporates some jazz and pop music. I think this has a bit more of a tendency to feel samey, but the area where it lives is entertaining enough to keep that from being an issue. I'm a big fan of reggae. It's always fun. So, I really do like this a lot.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Cool Mountains
I dig the cool jazzy groove that starts this cut. The track works out to some tasty reggae merged with pop music from there. There is plenty of jazz on later parts of the tune.
Little Darlin'
I dig the fun reggae vibe on this song. While I like the opener, and think it has more of a mainstream pop sound, this is a better tune to me. It's just so entertaining and classy.
Better Weather
This one is even stronger. The reggae sounds on the piece are classic, but some jazzy instrumentation at times serves to augment that concept. This is a slower moving number with so much style.
Slow it Down
Not a big change, but then why change when it's this good, we get another classy groove. I dig the keyboard solo on this number a lot.
Searching
I love the cool, almost proggy sound that brings this into being. The cut grows outward into a killer reggae jam that is informed by prog. This might be my favorite here. It's just so good!
Workin'
Bouncy reggae is on the menu here. This is another highlight of the set. There is a cool jazzy break and then a bouncy kind of piano solo that calls to mind old-time rock and roll.
Nice Day
Another classy reggae groove is on the agenda here. This isn't a big change from the bulk of the music here, but it is so entertaining and effective.
Irie
A tasty jazz meets reggae romp, this is designed to get you moving and grooving. It's so much fun.
Giving Thanks
A dramatic feeling is on hand here. This number is a contender for best of the set. The cool jam later in the piece is so classy. The whole track is pure winner.
 
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