Black Gold
I Grade Records
August 24, 2010

Black Track list
  1. Nobody Knows
  2. This Song
  3. Roots In A Modern Time
  4. Be You
  5. Sunshine In Morning
  6. Hello My Beautiful
  7. Black Gold
  8. Look Up
  9. Conquering Cocaine
  10. Rise And Fall feat. Jahdan Blakkamoore
  11. Marching
  12. Patient
  13. Unforgettable
  14. Changing
  15. Rain Again
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 11-
Very Good -Votes: 4-
Good -Votes: 3-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 1-

Total votes : 19
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Of course, it's never going to happen simply because Marvin Gaye has been tragically shot dead by his father on April 1, 1984, but can you imagine how it would haved sounded when that great soul singer would have been able to collaborate with some of today's premier production houses to sing over modern roots riddims? No...?! Then you get a very good impression of how it would have sounded when you listen to Toussaint's debut solo album "Black Gold", and that's truly a huge compliment for both the Zion I Kings production team (a collaboraton of noted producers Laurent "Tippy" Alfred, Digital Ancient, Jah David and Dean Pond) and the former lead singer of the Stax Records and Blue Note recording group Soulive, Toussaint aka The Liberator.

Toussaint (born Toussaint Yeshua) has spent his entire life at the musical crossroads, always breaking new ground along the way. The son of a Baptist preacher and gospel singer, Toussaint nurtured his craft in the church at a young age before finding his own voice in the compelling lyrics and artistic independence of the hip-hop group Red Pill, the funk reggae oufit The China Band, the rock and soul of the Trama Unit, more recently Buru Style and most notably during the two years he spent as lead singer with Soulive.

History has learned that combining Reggae with other musical styles like e.g. hip-hop has hardly ever led to very successful, let alone appealing products. However this certainly isn't the case with Toussaint's "Black Gold" set, on which a modern style of Roots Reggae is seamlessly blended with American Soul, while other styles of so-called Black Music like Jazz, Gospel, R&B and Blues are present as well. "Nobody Knows", the evocative album opener, instantly makes a strong impression, vocally and lyrically as well as musically. From there it goes from strength to strength due to Toussaint's compelling storytelling and seamless vocal range, and the superb 'live' played musical backdrops. Thus the majority of the tracks featured on this disc are simply a joy to hear over and over again. Standout tracks, and also our personal favourites, are "Roots In A Modern Time", the single "Be You", the bluesy title track "Black Gold", the wonderful "Look Up", the awesome "Patient", and the combination song with Jahdan Blakkamoore called "Rise And Fall". While pieces like "Roots In A Modern Time" and the great lovers song "Be You" recall the music of UK bands such as Matumbi and Black Slate, there are also tunes that come with a unique vibe.

Toussaint's "Black Gold" set is a fascinating, easily accessible collection of tunes. However it's questionable wether the hardcore reggae fan will fully appreciate the new Soul Roots genre, but those who are willing to listen to a great vocalist and well produced (soul-tinged) reggae music should cherish this treasure. So, ignore at your peril!