from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
The Wailing Souls - presently a duo consisting of founding members Winston "Pipe" Matthews and Lloyd "Bread" McDonald - are responsible for some of the best material in the history of Reggae music. During the seventies they delivered high quality roots music, and looking back they were in fact the only vintage act which succeeded to expand their audience by combining their cultural concerns with the most brutal and inspired of the Junjo's riddims which ruled the dancehalls in the early eighties. Throughout the years the group's consistency has largely been down to Winston "Pipe" Matthews' aching voice and his superb songwriting talent, although we may not forget that Lloyd "Bread" McDonald has also provided some strong songs. In the nineties the Wailing Souls changed their musical course and tried to propel Reggae music into the mainstream, which brought them two grammy nominations, but also made them lose many of their long-time fans as they were convinced that the group was producing reggae below their own high standards.|
With their latest album "Equality" (released on the up and coming US based 'ReggaeBlitz' label) the Wailing Souls have returned to their roots of Trench Town, Jamaica. No wrong move at all, as it has resulted in one of the best Wailing Souls albums since their series of high quality albums in the first half of the eighies. Produced by Winston "Pipe" Matthews and Lloyd "Bread" McDonald themselves, mixed by the renown Bobby 'Digital' Dixon at Digital B Studios, backed by "live" musicians (including Sly & Robbie, Donald Dennis, Lloyd Willis, Dalton Browne, Steve "Lenky" Marsden, Sky Juice, Bongo Herman and Tony Green), strong harmonies, complex musical arrangements and, of course, good songwriting make this album a winner. The title track "Equality" and "Artificial" are truly outstanding efforts, reminiscent of the finest moments from their essential "Fire House Rock" album. But also "Not For Us", "Foundation", "Down On Your Knees", "Power And Glory" and "Stop The Conflict" are solid deliveries and samples of great Roots music. With this album the Wailing Souls are back were they belong... in the forefront of modern reggae music.