The World Should Know
Burning Spear
Burning Music Productions/Nocturne
CD (+ Bonus DVD)
June 30, 2005

Track list

  1. The World Should Know
  2. In A Time Like Now
  3. I Stand Strong
  4. Identity
  5. It's Not A Crime
  6. Mi Gi Dem (I Give Them)
  7. Loving Day
  8. Sweeter Than Chocolate
  9. On The Inside
  10. Peace

  1. Mi Gi Dem (I Give Them) (Music Video)
  2. Door Peep (Live)
  3. African Postman (Live)
  4. Columbus (Live)
  5. Rocking Time (Live)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
The 1993 released album "The World Should Know" marked Burning Spear's return to the Heartbeat label, which he had left in the mid-80s to first sign a deal with the independent Slash label and then to re-sign to Island Records. Even though it was nominated for a Grammy, this 10-track album doesn't belong to the Spear's very best and certainly isn't a classic release. It might have been his stay with Island Records -- the record company that wanted Burning Spear to record more consumer friendly roots -- that this album has gotten a more accessible, global sound.

Most of the tracks included here are underpinned by backing tracks that are dominated by uptempo dance beats, programmed drums and synth keyboards and mostly lack Burning Spear's well known hypnotizing delivery that has fascinated his long term fans so many times. The first five tracks are roots & culture oriented tunes, although the music is anything but pure roots. It lasts until track 3 -- "I Stand Strong" -- before one gets a glimpse of the old Spear. With this tune, and also with the next track, "Identity", the Spear discusses his own personal philosophy. "It's Not a Crime", which resurrects the old kiddie song "I'm A Little Teapot", deals with the importance of loving and educating the youth.

The second part of this cd contains tunes with a variety of themes including matters of the heart as expressed in "Loving Day" and the funky "Sweeter Than Chocolate", and the unity topic of the mainly instrumental "Peace". Unfortunately it doesn't get any better. All tracks are rather mediocre efforts with only "On The Inside" being a tunes worth of hearing.

"The World Should Know" comes with a 30 minutes lasting bonus DVD featuring previously unreleased live performances of the classic songs "African Postman", "Columbus", "Door Peep" und "Rocking Time", recorded at a festival somewhere in Europe. Furthermore we're treated to music video of "Mi Gi Dem (I Give Them)" along with a never before seen interview recorded in New York and Jamaica. Interesting and notable stuff for the avid Burning Spear fan and thus, for them, probably a worthwhile purchase of this special edition release after all.