from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
After having already made an impact with a brace of solid to excellent 7" singles including "High Grade", "Rub A Dub Style" and a glorious remake of the Natural Ites' classic "Picture On The Wall", the Rasites - a truly multi-talented roots outfit from northeast London, UK - deliver their much anticipated debut album "Urban Regeneration". Produced by the Cave Team, consisting of experienced vets in the business Danny 'Playboy' Ray and Fitzroy 'Wizard' Blake, "Urban Regeneration" is not only further evidence of the Rasites' unique skills and talent, but it is also an amazingly mature collection of songs from a band formed by young warriors who not yet have reached 21!|
The Rasites' main intention is to write and play their own material (although this set shows that they are not averse to cover a good tune) in order to spread a conscious message through thoughtful lyrics delivered over "live" played rootical backdrops. Listening to their music almost inevitably brings back memories of the heydays of Aswad, Reggae Regular, Steel Pulse and Matumbi, some of the UK's leading reggae outfits in the late seventies and eighties.
"Urban Regeneration" contains outstanding originals like for example "Live Consciously", "Striving" and the fiery chant "Redder Judgement" as well as great interpretations of the Paragons' "Danger In Your Eyes", Carlton Coffie's "World Festivity" and the aforementioned Natural Ites piece "Picture On The Wall". Notable efforts are also the strong album opener "Chop Corruption", "Universal Love", "Live Up", "Stand For Better" and the very enjoyable "Rub A Dub Style". In fact, there's no weak tune around. The bulk of the material featured on this set consists of positively uplifting reality tunes, which will please many modern roots fan.
"Urban Regeneration" is an impressive, consistent debut album, which certainly will find its way to a wide reggae audience. No need to say that this set definitely affirms the Rasites' status as UK's most exciting new roots reggae act.