December 26, 2010
Nowadays white reggae artists and producers are nothing unusual, this genre has conquered the world and spread to places with no or few black folks to play it. Iv'e made it a point to not try to make an issue of reggae artists race. But finding singjays with turbans that are white still is a bit unusual and worth mentioning. Dunno if "Cookie the Herbalist" is "Bobo" but he sure looks the part although he's not that militant in his aproach.
For being a singjay Cookie keeps his music on the softer, more popy spectra of the subgenre, there aqin't nothing to rowdy or "Sizzla" like on "Like a tree". Many of the songs are of an more romantic persuation although the cultural tracks are there (note that i don't mean any of this in a negative way, it's still authentic, genuine reggae). You does not have to be a hardcore Reggae fan to enjoy this album.
First up is "Hold on" ft. "Andrew Robinson", a softer kinda acoustic song featuring a guitar, flute and what sounds like bongo drums where Cookie thanks god and his parents for surviving even though life is hard. Not a bad start of the album, it's a good song with solid performances and a good message. For the next song he gives up the acoustic sound for a more electronic one with synths and drum-machines. It's a lil bit faster but not str8 uptempo still and touches kinda the same subjects as the first song. It's okay but not the most amazing song on the album. The third song is the title track, "Like a tree" an uptempo metaphor where he likens himself to a tree with roots spanning wide and making him strong and unbeatable. It's not bad but doesn't grab me like i wish it would.
Skip one song and we get "Running away", one of my favorites on here, it has an pop sensibility while still keeping it true to it's reggae roots and Cookie works up a good flow. If the radio stations worked the way they should this would be the perfect "cross-over" hit. The songs to follow varies from dancehall to uptempo roots songs. Over all it's a good album, i got no real complaints although it somehow fails to grab and impress me. What i like is that "Cookie" never tries going to hardcore on here, with his turban and all i was afraid that he was going to come of as trying to be something he's not but he don't. If you got the money to spare this is not a bad purchase and i will keep on following "Cookie the Herbalist"'s development as an artist but "Like a tree" is not a must have.
Posted by Krikon at 9:11 PM