Burning Spear
Burning Music Productions/Nocturne
July 27, 2005

Track list
Disc 1:

  1. Trust
  2. We Feel It
  3. Ha Ha
  4. Not Guilty
  5. Rock And Roll
  6. Hey Dready
  7. Freeman
  8. Loved For Who I Am
  9. Rise Up
  10. Old School
  11. They Can't
  12. Changes
Disc 2: Living Dub Volume 6

  1. Trust (Dub)
  2. We Feel It (Dub)
  3. Ha Ha (Dub)
  4. Not Guilty (Dub)
  5. Rock & Roll (Dub)
  6. Hey Dready (Dub)
  7. Free Man (Dub)
  8. Love For Who I Am (Dub)
  9. Rise Up (Dub)
  10. Old School (Dub)
  11. They Can't (Dub)
  12. Changes (Dub)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
"Freeman" is one of three recently repackaged albums from roots veteran Winston Rodney, who has been writing and performing reggae music as Burning Spear for more than three decades. Winston Rodney was already musically active before he called himself Burning Spear. The name Burning Spear came about by an elderly person named Pantan, who was living on industrial terrace off Spanish Town Road. It was the year 1969 when Winston Rodney met the late great Bob Marley. The latter told him to check Studio One and so he did. Within that year Winston sang his first line as Burning Spear. The rest is history.
After the release of "Calling Rastafari" it took Burning Spear some four years to come up with a new album, but it was well worth the wait. With "Freeman" one of the main and greatest roots artists in Reggae music definitely delivers his best set in the last 15 years. As one might expect this album follows along the same musical path as its predecessors. And also lyrically there's nothing new here as he mainly treats us to the familiar themes of self-determination and equal rights for African descendants and for all people. But on the other hand this set also includes songs in which he tell us about his own life and his unique and common experiences, with his Rastafari faith as the focus. Take for example the impressive "Loved For Who I Am", on which we find out that as a younger person, Winston couldn't count on his mother or his father in times of trouble. Also the awesome "Hey Dready" is a prime example of sharing his own experiences. Many great tunes can be enjoyed including our personal favourites "Trust", "We Feel It", "Not Guilty", "Rise Up", "They Can't" and "Changes". "Ha Ha" and "Rock And Roll" are the only tunes we don't appreciate that much. Well played backdrops, stellar horn arrangements, beautiful harmonies from the backing vocalists, wicked guitar sounds and Burning Spearís heartfelt vocal delivery, make this a very enjoyable and entertaining album, which now comes comes with a tasty set of unreleased dubs. Featured are some of the most prestigious musicians from reggae history such as Horsemouth Wallace, Chris Meredith, Stephen Stewart, Ian "Beezy" Coleman, Sticky Thompson, Sky Juice and Chico Chin. The album was recorded and mixed at MVP (the new Harry J.) Studio in Kingston, Jamaica.