Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Get Up And Try
Bishob Meets Manjul
Makafresh
CD
January 15, 2008

Bishob meets Manjul - Get Up and Try Track list
  1. Bishob Is My Name
  2. Get Up And Try
  3. Chant A Song
  4. Burning In My Soul feat. Eric 'Rico' Gaultier
  5. The Roads From Ills
  6. Hot Time In Freetown
  7. Broken Record
  8. Culture Of Racism
  9. One Love
  10. Lover's Appeal
  11. Bishob In Dub
  12. Play A Dub
  13. Dubing In My Soul
  14. The Dub From Ills
  15. Hot Dub In Freetown
  16. Dub Record
  17. Dub Culture
  18. One Dub
  19. Lover's Dub
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Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Takana Zion's "Zion Prophet" was the first African artist to have a full length album released on Makasound's branch label Makafresh. And now the label unleashes Bishob's "Get Up And Try", an entertaining set that features 10 vocal efforts of another very talented African and actually the second album release that comes from the collaboration between Makafresh and Manjul's Humble Ark Records. Where Takana Zion may not reach an international audience due to delivering his lyrics in four different languages, Bishob won't face that problem because he solely sings in English.

Bishop (born July 12, 1973) grew up in Benin City, Nigeria, where he studied mass media and broadcasting in college. In 1996 he decided to leave for Spain, but he got short of money and had to end his journey in Mali. Two years later he began performing in the hotels and "maquis" of Bamako, the dynamic capital city of Mali, to earn a living. For six years he honed his skills singing rock, jazz, soul, afro-beat and reggae standards, accompanied by the band of the Sofitel of Bamako. In 2005 he met Manjul, who was working in the studio Tiken Jah Fakoly had just founded in Mali. Hearing Bishob's voice the multi-talented French instrumentalist, composer, sound engineer and inspired producer offered to produce the single "Get Up And Try" (with lyrics from Sierra Leonean writer Ian Abioseh Johnson). From then on, Bishob felt more and more involved in and attracted to reggae and Rastafari, and continued to work with Manjul which eventually led to the release of his debut album "Get Up And Try".

Bishob, who has a great soulful vocal delivery, and Manjul deliver a refreshing, and at moments thrilling collection of tunes. While listening to the various tracks of this album it's obvious that Manjul cherishes the values of Jamaican roots reggae of the late 1970s. Even though he uses them as a strong foundation for his production work and arrangements, the musical backing -- done with real instruments -- doesn't sound outdated but is rather vibrant and fresh. Bishob's vocal talent shines throughout and all of the songs feature substantial lyrics (provided by Ian Abioseh Johnson on eight tracks). Stand outs are the title track "Get Up And Try", in which he encourages the people of the African continent, the uptempo "Chant A Song" with its wicked horns parts, the wonderful "The Roads From Ills", the ska-fueled "Hot Time In Freetown", the impressive "Culture Of Racism", and the excellent "One Love", a call for unity between Christianity and Islam.

Bishob has delivered a highly enjoyable debut set, which is certain to propel his career several steps forward. A good reason to invest some listening time into Bishob's album.