Urban Tribe
Braah Produktion AB / Irie Records
April 30, 2008

Track list
  1. Empire
  2. Natural
  3. High Society
  4. One Fine Day feat. Elijah Prophet
  5. Everything You Do (Comes Back To You)
  6. On And On
  7. Hold Your Peace
  8. Reggae Fever
  9. Never Enough
  10. Peace Of Mind
  11. Nothingness
  12. Holding The Devil's Hand
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
"Roots" is the third album of Urban Tribe, the Swedish reggaeband around singer, guitar player, composer and producer Adam Atterby. Their first album "Bob's Bar" was not only a very nice classic roots album, but also an attempt to help rebuild Surin 'Bob' Sikapain his Bob's Bar, the reggae hangout on Thailand's Kamala Beach that was destroyed on Boxing Day 2004 when the big tsunami hit South East Asia and killed tens of thousands of people. 20 per cent of the sales of the "Bob's Bar" album resulted in the re-opening of Surin Sikapain's bar in October 2005 and following their 2006 sophomore album "Who Is The Enemy?" Urban Tribe now release their third album "Roots", distributed exclusively by Münster's Irie Records, the ever reliable shop, mailorder and distributor located in Germany's Nordrhein-Westfalen, serving not only Europe's mainland for over 25 years but many overseas customers as well. Urban Tribe is a 12-piece outfit (including the great horn section and very strong female backing vocals trio) who follow the directions given by Adam Atterby with great melodic skills, resulting in a warm organic sound throughout the album.

The album opens with the strong "Empire" made of insanity we're living in and like on the first two albums the strong influence of UK roots bands and especially Steel Pulse is very clear, before Urban Tribe expresses I wanna live "Natural" with the toasts of Trinidadian Bamma B again resembling Shaggy's delivery and tone of voice. The sweet female backing vocals by (Adam Atterby's wife) Charlotte Atterby, Christian Lindström & Linda Rönnbäck deserve a special mention as their contribution to the overall sound is as important as that of the crisp playing band as can be heard on the great accusation of the "High Society" (Children soldiers with with Kalashnikovs / won't be crashing the gate / Crystal, cocaine and caviar / will make them all go away).

Elijah Prophet is featured on the great gospel-tinged "One Fine Day", followed by "Everything You Do (Comes Back To You)" in which the influence of Bob Marley & the Wailers(' "Rat Race") is clearly audible, the upful "On And On" we may have lost the battle but the war goes on and the anti-materialistic "Hold Your Peace". Urban Tribe pay tribute to their main influence Steel Pulse with a great rendition of the 1980 single "Reggae Fever" taken from Steel Pulse's 1980 album "Caught You" (released in the US as "Reggae Fever"), before once more speaking out against materialism and greed in "Never Enough" - of which the prolongued intro and midway instrumental break emphasize the tightness of the band and its arrangements -. "Peace Of Mind", still a nice tune with a great organ solo, is a little less strong than the other songs on this album but the pessimistic "Nothingness" completely makes up for it. This very fine album is closed with the strong "Holding The Devil's Hand", 80s UK-roots (especially Steel Pulse) enthusiasts are obliged to check out this album, all others are recommended heartily to do so.