Ras Mc Bean
Union World Music
CD / Digital Release
June 17, 2014
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
With still in mind the serious impression Ras Mc Bean made with his stunning debut album "Pack Up And Leave" (released by Irie Ites Records from Le Mans, France), it's hard to believe that it took a decade for this Paris based Guyanese singjay to come up with a sophomore album, but it did. After the release of a well received and successful debut album it would have been a logical thing, when its follow-up had appeared within a short period of time. Instead the reggae fraternity was only treated to different singles, mostly part of 'one riddim' releases such as most recently "Never Weary Yet" on Irie Ites Records' "Diamond" riddim.
However, after having waited so long for a new Ras Mc Bean album, there's finally the "Inlightment", which was produced exclusively for Union World Music by the 2008 founded Fireman Crew, a reggae backing band and production team from Linz, Austria. The album starts with the gospel-ish accapella sung "Intro", showcasing Ras Mc Bean's vocal abilities to the fullest. From there the listener is treated to a colorful mix of 'live played' original modern roots riddims, with the solid message tune "Rise Up And Fight" being the track that gets things really started. And from there it goes from strength to strength. The soulful "Surrender" is a captivating lovers piece that makes you wanna move your dancing feet. Then the pace slows down on the impressive "Nature", which is one of the standouts here. A big tune fi sure!! The matching "Stepping Out" sees Ras Mc Bean collaborating with Saint-Martin (Caribbean) born Ilements, and it works very well. It's followed by the spiritual "Calling", definitely one of the best tracks you'll find on "Inlightment". With "It's You", a song which just like "Surrender" deals with matters of the heart and even outmatches it, we have come halfway this album and so far we've been treated to mature and convincing material.
And it doesn't stop here, in fact the second half of "Inlightment" has even more big tunes to enjoy, starting with "Yesterday Is Gone". The latter is a phenomenal, somewhat dark sounding tune, with serious lyrical content that requires full attention. The delightful message tune "Love The Life You Live" comes with a totally different vibe and mood, but in the end it proves to be equally strong as its preceding track. And if this ain't enough, Ras Mc Bean and the Fireman Crew treat us to a fantastic tune entitled "Run, Run, Run". Don't let the title of the next effort fool you, because it's pure social consciousness that "Hocuspocus" deals with. This song maintains the quality throughout and is a joy to listen to. The remaining two tracks, "Run For Cover" and "Love Govern The Earth", are both real gems, rounding off "Inlightment" in a very satisfactory way.
Although it seemed hard to outmatch the "Pack Up And Leave" album, Ras Mc Bean has managed to do it, and thus the long wait has been worthwhile.