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It's the voice that does it. An ancient, earthy sound stretches from a low rumble to forgotten tribal chants and fills 'Reasons'[/B] like a dense cloud of incense...
Junior Delgado's 30 years as an ambassador for reggae haven't cooled his ardour any. And now, the London-based Jamaican has decided to explore territories anew - and broaden his range. Made in collaboration with On-U Sound's Adrian Sherwood and Skip McDonald, plus some top sessioneers, 'Reasons' develops a kind of acoustic reggae blues that pulses, storms and relaxes.
But everything returns to the voice, cast centre-stage. Delgado expresses a deep spiritual longing as he casts his eyes on the state of the world. 'The King Shall Come', complete with an Amharic blessing, states that judgement will soon be set, to a Near-Eastern lilt.
As his tones deepen, the jaunty 'Turn 'Em Over' reflects critically on bad boys with ammunition; 'Ancient Civilisation' transposes the mystery of the lost ark and sceptre to World War Two Ethiopia; 'Hanging Tree' chants down oppressors; and 'Prophecy', the nearest cut to straight roots reggae, is another conscious tune.
In a time of a rejuvenated reggae scene, Delgado's mainstream experiment provides a diversion from the raw lyrics of the young pretenders. Age and wisdom serve him well.
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