Son Of Man
Black Roots
CD / LP / Digital Release
January 31, 2016

Track list
  1. Son Of Man
  2. War Zone
  3. All Sing The Song Key
  4. One Ebony Girl
  5. Prevention
  6. Guess Who
  7. Wake Up
  8. Can't Get Out Of That
  9. Trickle Trickle Treat
  10. Poor Old Mama
  11. One Thing
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Essential -Votes: 6-
Very Good -Votes: 2-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 9
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
It is possible for a prominent Roots band to take a 20 year hiatus from the studio; come forward again and make another resonating impact in a music world that's dramatically changed since their last album? The answer is a resounding YES! Bristol's own BLACK ROOTS have just released, "Son Of Man", with Royal resurgence. This is their third album since reuniting studio wise in 2012. They've seamed their true experience with fresh relevance and released a multi-layered and polished gem that exemplifies clearview vision, endurance and absolute passion for Real Authentic Sound. Maximum respect to Sarah (Soulbeats Records), Marius Finger (Rootdown Promotions) whose dedication to promoting and producing top ranking music is amazing and Alfredo Vasquez (working alongside Black Roots since the early years, providing the solid structure that supports the band's music).

Black Roots started their legacy in St.Pauls, Bristol in 1979 and consistently released monumental albums and live power until 1995. We must recall their self titled debut (1983), "All Day All Night" (1986) which was their first of many collaborations with Neil Fraser (Mad Professor), "Live Power" (1989), "Natural Reaction" (1990) and "The Dub Factor" series. In fact, "Dub Factor-The Mad Professor Mixes" (1991) has just been reissued. In 2010, six of the original lineup reunited for a live set in Bristol and the rest is history. "On The Ground" (2012) marked their return in triumphant fashion. Last year's hugely acclaimed "Ghetto Feel" linked them with France's Soulbeats Records and the engineering mastery of Louis Beckett. The band have kept their longstanding Nubian Records label operating for many decades now. Since reuniting, this humble band have toured extensively throughout Europe to massive response and clearly fulljoy spreading their powerful message... the second time around.

"Son Of Man" was presumably recorded at the same time as "Ghetto Feel" sessions. Recordings took place at J & J Studio (Bristol) in Jan, 2014 and are mixed by Louis Beckett at Invada Studio. The production team of Jeff Spencer/Black Roots is wisely intact. The lineup remains consistent from the last album. Errol Brown, Kondwani Ngozi, Carlton Smith and Charles Bryan on vox. Legendary bassie Colin McNeish on bass. Anthony Charles Ward on drums with Henry Holder on keys. The horn section of Patrick Tenyue/Henry Tenyue/Winston Rose add decades of experience. Cordell Francis and Jabulani Ngozi on guitars. Note: Errol, Jabulani, Kondwani, Cordell, Charles and Carlton are Foundation members and the additional members are master craftsmen of music making.

"Son Of Man" kicks off the set with blazing power. Over a textured riddim with Henry's signature bubbling, Anthony's taut drumming and sky high horn blasts, brilliant observation beholds - "take your head out of the sand" with sincere vocals. Black Roots have never held back on social, political and spiritual observations and their commentary stands firm! "War Zone" is ripe with vivid guitars, Colin's top bass work and dynamic horns. This is vintage Black Roots sound with thoughtful lyrics that are mixed to perfection. "All Sing The Song Key" continues the versatility that became apparent with "On The Ground". Spritual perfection with "Hail H.I.M to make ends meet". A heartfelt delivery with tasty arrangements. "One Ebony Girl" is a skanking delight! Flows with earthtones and pure intelligence. One can sense the unity vibes felt in the studio. "Prevention" is pure anthem; something Black Roots is very good at arranging. "Prevention is better than cure". No mincing lyrics here, just pure reality. Evokes memories of their overlooked but essential "Natural Reaction" set. "Guess Who" is granite tuff! A Rockers riddim and standout selection on par with Naturalites' "Picture On The Wall" with lyrics like "Guess who me saw, Selassie walking on the River Nile". Words of wisdom delivered with power and conviction.

"Wake Up" showcases their diversity. A Lovers Rock foundation with Aswadesque horn arrangements. Errol's vocals are truly soulful and is to the top. Great cut! "Can't Get Out Of That" is pure triumphancy. With a powerful wailing delivery, the band fuses their vintage sound with fresh urgency. Strictly Roots with top musicianmanship. "Trickle Trickle Treat" is a bubbling fountain that fires on all cylinders. Reminiscent of the power of "Albert Villa" (from "Ghetto Feel" album). Boom! "Poor Old Mama" is pure societal observation. The resilience of the elderly and the need for the youth to respect them. This is big band sound with polished mix that demands instant replay. "One Thing" is a brilliant closer. Over a taut riddim, the greediness of the banking industry is brought front and center with no apology and true observation.

"Son Of Man" is Black Roots' eleventh album. This band has a formula that consistently works. To deliver that amount of albums that are all urgent and pertinent is amazing. To be able to keep their Roots but still adjust for the ever changing Reggae music industry is a testament of Black Roots' legacy. There are countless UK based Roots artists that made a huge impact in their initial heyday and have come forward again after a long hiatus. Well, BLACK ROOTS have done that and more. "Son Of Man" is an album that will not be forgotten and serves as a testament to their experience and endurance. Highest recommendation. Go deh!