VP Records - Groove Attack/Walboomers Music
May 2, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
Nearly 13 years ago one of the biggest
talents and upcoming icons of roots reggae died tragically in a fire at
his home, Garnett Silk was only 28 years old and seemed destined to bring
roots reggae back into a dominant position that only Bob Marley had it in
both in Jamaica and abroad when dancehall came up. Seen widely as the next
Bob Marley and this time even those always dismissing that thought started
nodding, Garnett Silk left a vacuum when he died, and probably Luciano at
that time took the position as roots reggae ambassador that Garnett held,
with now maybe slowly Jah Cure taking over. But there was something very
unique about Garnett's voice and delivery as well, and none of the singers
striving to sound like him could match that, except for one, Brooklyn,
NYC born and based Ras Shiloh.|
This VP Records album "Coming Home" is only his 4th album in more than 10 years, after his impressive debut in early in 1997 with "Ras Shiloh & Idrens Chants", the great "Listen Well" in 1999 and 2002's excellent Penthouse/VP Records release "From Rasta To You". "Coming Home" is produced by another producer you know will get in the finest roots riddims and get out the best of the singer and like Donovan Germain is not afraid to fully exploit the Garnett Silk reminiscence. Already the opener "We Need More Love" does sound incredible like a never until now unearthed Garnett Silk tune and that vibe is even stronger (from the first word sung in the intro) in the brilliant combination "Let The People Voice Be Heard" with Morgan Heritage. "Give A Little Love" is just a little less strong, both the riddim is a tad too weak I think and Ras Shiloh's vocals seem to lack that special spark present in almost any other song on this album.
It should not be forgotten that Ras Shiloh is an excellent songwriter as well, it's not enough to have just Garnett's voice and delivery to be compared to him for the remainder of your love, you need to have at least a big chunk of his songwriting talent as well. And that is exactly why Ras Shiloh's songs always are great to hear as the great "What Have You Done Today" over a wonderful riddim and the great combination "The New Rising Day" with Bascom X that works very well over an even nicer riddim.
The ballad "Need Your Love" and "Are You Lonely" are nice but in the end a bit less impressive lovers tunes, that are however followed by the outstanding "Volume Of The Book" and of the three great combinations on this album the best one "It Will Be Over" featuring the omni-present and always strong Natural Black. "Rebel With A Cause" comes over a great more dubby riddim with a superb brass section only lending Ras Shiloh's lyrics and delivery more power, before the title track "Coming Home" once more gives you the feeling it is actually a track Garnett Silk would have done now and then he takes on the fine relick of the "Johnny Too Bad" riddim - originally recorded in 1970 by The Slickers for producer Byron Lee, this tune got famous through the inclusion on "The Harder They Come"-soundtrack and gets a conscious treatment here by Ras Shiloh in "Come Down Jah Jah". "All What Ah Go On" is another pure conscious scorcher that is followed by the fine "Voice Of The People" and Bobby Digital's 'Gully Gully'-riddim backing the magnificent "Waste My Time". The album is finished with the lovers tune "All Of Me" over the Heptones 'I've Got The Handle'-riddim and this album leaves you with the conflicting feelings that Ras Shiloh is much more than a Garnett Silk clone, but that on the other hand he is at his best when coming as close as he can to Garnett's style. And so he did on most tracks of this album, making the 5 years waiting worthwhile.