Album review
Humble African
HeartBeat Europe

Tracking list

  1. Why Am I A Rastaman
  2. Revolution
  3. Going Home
  4. Rolling Stone
  5. Humble African
  6. Where Is the Love featuring Marcia Griffiths
  7. Poverty
  8. Too Much Ginals
  9. Never Give Up
  10. Weeping
  11. Its Hard To Live
  12. Fishes To Fry
  13. Home Grown featuring Morgan Heritage
  14. Poor People Hungry featuring Tony Rebel
  15. Nah Stay Inna Babylon
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

For over 20 years Joseph Hill and Culture are one of the most respected and popular reggae artists in the world. Their story begins in 1977 with their legendary release of "Two Sevens Clash" - which is still heralded as one of the greatest all time reggae releases for its prophetic revelations - and spans more than two decades of musical change where the group, headed by the dynamic Joseph Hill (now solo), has always moved with the times, while remaining as an identifying source of roots music.
This brand new Culture release features real instrumentation and backing singers such as Sly and Robbie, Dwight Pinkney, Sky Juice, Donald Dennis, Dean Fraser, Nambo and Chico Chin, Junior Marvin, Dalton Browne and Robbie Lyn. The excellent album features some instant Joseph Hill classics. His songwriting skills are well known and tunes like Humble African, Why Am I A Rastaman, Rolling Stone and It's Hard To Live can easily be added to Joseph Hill's list of roots classics. His vocal delivery is as outstanding as you would expect, on some songs you can almost feel the pain and and grief he experiences. One of the most remarkable tunes is the duet with Marcia Griffiths, a straightforward lovers tune, but one with guts and a superb backing. The acoustic tune (only guitars and harmonica !) Home Grown features Morgan Heritage and makes a profound impression on me as it perfectly captures the atmosphere of the Jamaican 'back a yard' while smoking a spliff.
On some tracks he uses classic Jamaican tunes from the past : check out the riddim of Never Give Up and you will recognize the riddim of Ernest Wilson's tune 'I Know Myself'. Poverty is based on the Gregory Isaacs hit tune 'My Number One', which used to be a lovers tune, but Joseph Hill transforms it into a song of social commentary. Cultural deejay Tony Rebel joins Joseph Hill on Poor People Hungry, another highlight on this album.
Well, what more can I say...Joseph Hill and 'Fat Eyes" producers "Bulby" York and "Fatta" Marshall have put together the best Culture album since times..trust me !

Teacher & Mr. T.