Ways & Means
Easy Star Records
October 24, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4/5|
The Green is a band based in Hawaii. Their first album (released in 2010) was named Best Reggae Album of 2010 by iTunes, it made Billboard's 2010 Year-End Reggae Chart and won Best Reggae Album in Honolulu. It sold some 20,000 copies in 18 months and continues to chart. This is quit impressive for a debut album!
The Green are Ikaika Antone, JP Kennedy, Caleb Keolanui and Zion Thompson and they are backed up by an impressive list of musicians. Under the guidance of New York based Easy Star Records the band puts out their second album called "Ways & Means". Produced by the band itself, it features 14 self penned (!) songs demonstrating the full-range of this talented band's skills. Vocally speaking the band reminds us of Jamaican artists like Jah Cure, Tarrus Riley and Duane Stephenson. Their sound is modern, rich, full and sophisticated, one might call it reggae with a subtle dose of pop. Some call it pop-reggae, but that is definitely not the case because the band is firmly rooted in an authentic reggae tradition. Check out Ways & Means, an inventive multi-layered song and Keep On, which happens to be an above average roots tune. The same goes for Jah Love, a must hear on this album.
Good Vibration is the only tune on the album that displays more pop elements than reggae grooves, but the rest of the tunes are well arranged reggae songs. The dancehall flavoured tune Decisions is one of the many highlights on the album. Very smooth and catchy is Gotta Be, while Travlah is a convincing reggae piece with nuff smart dub effects. Wicked tune! Got Me In Love is a simple synth based lovers tune, while Love Is Strong makes far more impression. There's one song, Come In, we kept spinning on and on. It's a tune produced by veteran Studio One engineer and later producer Soljie aka Soldgie, who invited Jacob Hemphill (of SOJA) to join forces. Check it out!
Do not ignore The Green's sophomore album!