Album review
La Isla
Reggae National Tickets
BMG Records

Tracking list

  1. La Isla
  2. Suono
  3. Cerca
  4. So Much Trouble In The World
  5. Business
  6. Mosquitoes
  7. Cose Che Succedono
  8. Leave The I Alone
  9. Ambassador
  10. Anancy
  11. Love Can Conquer All
  12. So Much Trouble In The World In Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4

With "La Isla" the Italian reggae band Reggae National Tickets delivers their fourth album release within six years. The band was formed in August 1993 by founding members Stena, the singer, and Fabietto, the guitarist and they play a genre of music that can be typified as a blend of Mediterranean sounds and pure reggae music. Locally Reggae National Tickets were soon regarded as a very promising band expressed by means of gaining an award for their 1994 released demotape entitled "Metropoli Selvaggia". In 1996 they released their self-produced debut CD "Squali", due to their increasing popularity, soon followed by "Un Affare Difficile", a 360 degrees opening towards drum 'n' bass and black music in general, always with the classical reggae style. Meanwhile the band managed to establish their name in Italy, which finally resulted in a major deal with BMG Records, the record company that released the new album "Lascia Un Po' Di Te" in May 1998. The "Lascia Un Po' Di Te" album combined the typical Jamaican hot riddims with Soul/R&B melodies in "Los Angeles old-style". One of the guests on this album was Jamaican roots singer Bunny Selassie. In the 5th edition of Rototom Sunsplash - Italy's annual reggae meeting - Reggae Sunsplash promoter mr. Rae Barrett invited the band to represent Italy in the 1999 edition of his festival in Ocho Rios. Unfortunately Reggae Sunsplash was postponed, but nevertheless Reggae National Tickets did go to Jamaica, in this case however to complete their latest effort "La Isla". In Gee Jam Studios in Port Antonio they met the guests of the new album : renown bassist Aston "Familyman" Barrett, Manuel Stain, Canadian/Jamaican rapper Quizz, Bunny Selassie, Lisa Dainjha and Bobo.
Nice musical arrangements, fine vocal performances and appealing harmonies, horns parts and a well balanced sound with reggae music as a base, but also incorporating many different musical flavours, are the main ingredients of this refreshing and very enjoyable album. Although the majority of the tunes - sung in the Italian and/or English language - are very danceable and cause a light-hearted feel, most of the lyrics deal with conscious topics and are well worth checking out. Standout tracks include the title track "La Isla", "Leave The I Alone", "Ambassador" and "Love Can Conquer All". "La Isla" is a very satisfying effort and showcases the musical potential of an Italian band that dares to cross musical borders, however never letting loose their main influence and inspiration : pure reggae music !

Teacher & Mr. T.