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Wha ah gwaan? Im Krikon and this is my blog, it's dedicated to everything i find interesting, esp. Reggae but also movies and graphic design. My reviews feature some low-quality, streaming samples but im not an illegal mp3 blog and will never be. Any artist or label who want their samples removed, let me know. If you want your album or movie reviewed here, post in the chat box and i'll get in touch with you.

May 9, 2011

Earl Zero - Market place

 We read a lot about how the rootsreggae stars of the 70 ies are dying of one by one and it is sad that we are loosing a whole generation of artists much appreciated. It's enlightening and much needed to hear about players from way back when that is still doing good. Earl Zero may not be the most prolific of all the acts from "the golden era of reggae" but he sure is the real deal and seem to be doing great both health and career wise. Last years "And god said to man" was a great throwback to the 70ies sound with live instrumentation and high quality work all the way and now we got "Market place" who promises the same organic, high quality vibes as the previous album.

It both is and isn't at the same time, we get tons of live instrumentation and high quality vibes but the feel and sound they went for is completely different. The first song is "Get up", an energetic track with a heavy "rockers" vibe to it, i kinda get a Bob Marley feel when listening to it, like as if he was still alive today and did a song trying to cross over to the masses. I don't say this in an negative way, even though it's very far from what i usually listens to it's not bad, if you like songs that's 50% rock and 50% reggae this is a great track with all it's wailing guitars, piano etc.. Second song "Black mans time" sounds way more "Reggae" than the first song with a distinct back-beat and typical conscious lyrics fusing black pride with a  RastafarI message. This is easily the most rootsy song on the album and one of my favorites on here.

Pretty good also is track 4, "Back up in the woods" where he looks back at how things where in Kingston back in the day. It has a slight back-beat but also a strong rock vibe to it. The lyrics are very interesting and very much ads to the songs quality.  There's a coupla dubs on here as well such as "Lion dubs again" which i guess is okay if u are into dub music. Im no huge fan of dub and cant decide whether it's better or worse than a lot of other dubs. Last song before the 2 finishing dub tracks is "I love you little darling", Earl might sing about doing things "in a roots man stylee'" but the song feels very funky with a heavy bass presence an plenty of assorted sound effects.

Being a good reviewer (I try to be) you have to be able to  look beyond your own taste sometimes and determine if an album is of high quality regardless of what you think of it. That's what i did here, being honest im not all that crazy about this album. It's too much rock and influences from other genres to really get me going, sure the reggae's still there and this ain't no sell out a'la Ini Kamoze 's "Lyrical gangsta" but im too much of an purist to really appreciate this album. Still, denying that it's a high quality product from start to finish  would be unfair. It's nice to see old veterans still doing good and still being relevant so in a weird, indirect kind of way i still dig this album. Have a good listen to it before you decide to buy it though, it will alienate a lot of listeners (but then again, it's on Ernie B's top seller list so maybe not).


Anonymous said...

I recently purchased this album & was blown away. Although its not your standard reggae album, its one of the most creative projects I have heard in years. I'm so tired of people remaking studio one riddims over and over again. This is an album with a lot of substance & I salute Earl Zero for experimenting & taking chances with his music...

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