Soul Pirate ~ Deluxe Remastered Edition
Forward Music / Evolution Music Group
March 8, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
Alborosie aka the 'Soul Pirate' was born in Sicily (1977) as Alberto D'Ascola. As a child he learned to play several instruments. In 1993 he formed the reggae band Reggae National Tickets. The band released several fine albums (he signed his first contract with BMG at the age of 17!) and was highly successful with their rootsy and swinging sound. However, he decided to quit the band because of too much pressure and the need for a change in his life. In 2001 he moved to Jamaica where he started to work with music mogul Jon Baker of Gee Jam productions.
Being a skillful musician, writer, engineer and producer he is one of reggae's most talented artists. He is a fan of Motown music and likes to listen to Black Uhuru, Bob Marley, Burning Spear and The Abyssinians just to name a few. David Rodigan describes his music as 'real authentic reggae music'. He only uses real instruments with analogue amplifiers, no quantizers or computer sequencers. Built on his musical ability and production expertise, Alborosie’s reggae is a unique blend of vintage sounds built with old and new technology and great songwriting. Most tracks feature him playing multiple instruments and were recorded at his own Shengen Clan Studio (that boasts a plethora of equipment owned by his heroes King Tubby and Coxsone Dodd) in Kingston, Jamaica.
On Forward Recordings, Jon Baker's label, he released several highly popular singles. In 2006 he surprised us with the single Herbalist (banned on Jamaican radio by the authorities for glorifying ganja), and in 2007 Kingston Town and Rastafari Anthem were among the most spinned tunes. Out of nowhere, he released "Soul Pirate" and just took the world by storm; a tour-de-force that became an instant classic. The album was the result of Alborosie's 6 years at Geejam Studios in Jamaica and in partnership with local artists. He honed his versatility with the albums "Escape To Babylon", "Two Times Revolution" and "Sound The System" (and the dub version "Dub the System"). All sets included guests ranging from Michael Rose to David Hinds to Ky-Mani Marley. His love for authentic old skool reggae music resulted in the release of a classic dub album called "Dub Clash". In 2011 he became the first white artist to win the M.O.B.O. (Music of Black Origin) Awards in the Best Reggae Act category. In 2014, Greensleeves Records released the double cd set "Specialist Presents Alborosie & Friends", a collection of collaborations with other artists. The album entered the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart at number 7!
The album "Soul Pirate ~ DeLuxe Remastered Edition" contains the original 18 tunes plus 4 bonus tracks. Most of those tunes are well known and loved by the roots rock reggae massive all over the world. After a spoken intro by David Rodigan, Alborosie hits you hard with his music! Diversity is a compelling prayer to King Selassie. Next comes a scorcher called Precious across the 'Promised Land' riddim. Veteran deejay Ranking Joe joins him on this one, although the 7" single labeled it as U Roy. The blazing hit tunes Herbalist, Kingston Town (with its infectious 'skibbelly, dum dum, skibbelly dum dum' hook), Rastafari Anthem and Waan The Herb are here too. It's amazing how fresh they sound after all these years! Bobby Digital gives a helping production hand on the impressive tune Still Blazing. Dutty Road is a solid praising song. The popular song Police slightly reminds us of Michael Rose and his classic tune "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", although he reworked that tune to the fullest in 2007. Michael Rose sings along Alborosie on Waan The Herb. Noel Walker's sax creates a moody atmosphere on the lovers tune Moonshine... excellent job!
Bad Mind is a track that once again shows how strong Alborosie's vocal delivery is. We still can't figure out the original riddim of this tune. Black Woman sees Alborosie in great shape, giving praises to the 'empress'. Sound Killa is a fast paced take across the 'Ganja Smuggling' riddim, with lyrical references to Tenor Saw's 'Ring the Alarm' classic. Original Jamaican Ska fans should definitely check out the song Patricia! The original album track list closes with the Bob Marley tune Natural Mystic. He does this one in combination with Ky-Mani Marley and Lion Man. Alborosie doesn't sing but delivers a fierce toast, while Ky-Mani sings the chorus of the song. Wicked! The last four tunes are bonus tracks. Call Up Jah is a thoughtful tune he released in 2007 and became an instant hit. From that same year comes Slambam, a boasting singjay tune brought inna soundbwoy fashion! The duet with Ky-Mani Marley Streets is a hip hop influenced roots tune. The album closes in appropriate fashion with the aching ballad Jamaica.
The sound of Alborosie has stood the test of time very well, the album with its tunes of positive, real and conscious messages is musical food for all of us!