Sugar Shack Records
CD / LP / Digital Release
July 4, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 3/4||Production : 3/4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Although he emerged in 1978 with the Dennis Bovell produced 7" single "Africa (Is Our Land)", one of the most remarkable talents of the Bristol reggae scene, Joshua Moses (nowadays calling himself Jashwha Moses), first came on our radar when Bristol Archive Records started their reissue programme in early 2011 with the release of the Various Artists compilation 'The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983". This collection featured two tracks by Joshua Moses: the aforementioned "Africa (Is Our Land)" and "Pretty Girl". Later on there were the albums "Joshua To Jashwha ~ 30 Years In The Wilderness" and his first full length studio album "No War On Earth" that brought us much more music from Joshua Moses aka Jashwha Moses.
Now, about two years after the release of "No War On Earth", there's the latter's follow up out on the streets. Called "The Rising", this 12 track album (9 songs on the vinyl LP) sees Jashwha Moses backed by riddims played by the Full Force and Power Band. And just like for "No War On Earth", production credits go to Mikey Taylor-Hall who sadly passed away prior to the album's release. The album opener, "What A Situation", instantly makes clear what you can expect when playing this album: modern roots reggae with a vintage feel and songs with lyrical depth, touching a variety of topics including pollution, hunger, war and displacement. "What A Situation", across a reworked version of Culture's "Never Get Weary" riddim, is a great tune, which later returns as "Bad Situation", a non-essential remixed version featuring Moonsy v The Masked Musikian. The next tune, "Crazy", makes you wonder what the reason was for Jashwha Moses to change his own vocal style. For this track, and also "Nothing To Lose", he utilizes a falsetto voice reminiscent of Junior Murvin, which doesn't make much sense. The nyahbinghi flavoured "Do Not Weep (A Meditation)" and "People Of Power" are standout tracks with echoes of Bob Marley's "Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Road Block)" and "Exodus" respectively. The cd rounds off with live versions of two tracks from "No War On Earth": "Jah Time Has Come" across Aswad's "The Promised Land" riddim, and "Power Crazy People - Stop The War".
Yes, "The Rising" has some strong efforts, but unfortunately also a few that don't live up to the high expectations raised by his previous two albums. It makes this a somewhat unbalanced collection, which is a real pity.