Human Nature
Red Earth Music
November 17, 2012

Track list
  1. Human Nature (Intro)
  2. One Day
  3. Hard Times
  4. Human Nature
  5. Were Not Leaving
  6. Judgement Day
  7. Sooner Or Later
  8. One Day (Dub Reprise)
  9. One More Reason
  10. The Streets Of London
  11. Its Not Easy
  12. Were Not Leaving (Acoustic Mix)
  13. Leaving Dub Outro (Prince Fatty Mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Although "Human Nature" from South London based Soothsayers is already the group's fifth full length album, we have to admit that, despite having collaborated with established reggae vocalists such as Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet, Linval Thompson and Cornell Campbell on past records, we weren't aware of their existence until now. Soothsayers, a collective of professional musicians with trumpeter/vocalist Robin Hopcraft and saxophonist/vocalist Idris Rahman being the founding members, expertly blends Afrobeat with dub, reggae, funk and jazz in a very compelling way.

In contrast with their previous album, "Red Earth Dub", actually a collection of dubbed up tracks from the "Tangled Roots" and "One More Reason" albums with the addition of previously unreleased material, this brand new 13 track album mainly focuses on the vocal side of their music. This time no guest appearances around, but the triple harmonies of Julia Biele, Robin Hopcraft and Idris Rahman that come to the fore. And while the sounds that accompany the vocals and lyrics make a strong impression throughout, the vocal performances are nothing less than wonderful and a real treat for the ears.

On "Human Nature" it's reggae, in particular roots and dub, that turns out to be the driving force, with the awesome "Hard Times" with its nice organ intro and blazing horns being the most ear-catching exponent. This one harks back to the golden era of roots reggae, when vocal groups like e.g. The Meditations, The Abyssinians and Wailing Souls were dominant forces. Other tracks that come with a strong reggae vibe and are worth of hearing include "One Day", "We're Leaving", and "". But there's also a nice portion of entertaining funky Afrobeat and jazzy grooves as can be witnessed while listening to the up-tempo title track "Human Nature" and "It's Not Easy".

Soothsayers' "Human Nature" is a solid and thoroughly enjoyable collection of tunes, worth checking out even if it's not strictle reggae music all the way.