THROW DOWN YOUR ARMS
*2005 - That's why there's chocolate and vanilla - studio - discs:1
"Yardie is getting mad ?", some of you will think finding the Sinead O'Connor's hated and loved album commented here. Do not worry! This was an unmissable occasion to find out what happens when a non Reggae artist confront him/herself with our beloved music. Sinead O'Connor went to Kingston (Anchor studios and Tuff Gong Studios) firm and confident, involved Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare as producers, and cut her twelve tracks polished album. Can't wait for my comment? This is a "fuffu" album. Translating from Jamaican patois we could say that this is an untrue, faked and artficial album. The music is great, but as you put in Sinead O'Connor attempt to resemble a Reggae artist, the result is quite annoying and tedious. The set opens with a version of Burning Spear's "Jah Nuh Dead", trying to reproduce Burning's solo in the movie "Rockers". Without even listening to the other tracks it is clear that the girl thinks of herself as a highly confident artist that can face every musical genre, even Reggae. It is not that easy, dear! Follows "Marcus Garvey" and "Door Peep" (both by the Spear). The result is poor, smooth. No force, no emotions, nothing. I was yawning by the third track, not a good sign. At this point Burning Spear's "He Prayed" follows. His powerful, deep and dark Roots classic is reduced to a lullaby as actually happens with all the classics recut here. But things are not over. "Y Mas Gan", the immortal hymn by the stellar Abyssinians is brutalized to the point that I started to think that this set should not be called "Throw Down Your Arms" but "Throw Out Of The Place The Singer". Another great song is raped here: the beautiful "Curly Locks" by Junior Byles is treated to the point that it resembles a soft-porn soundtrack. Skip before breaking the remote control of the player. Follows "Vampire", a song by Devon Irons originally cut for Lee "Scratch" Perry, pretentious and rotten. The next song is "Prophet Has Arise", another dull version. The great Peter Tosh would have got very angry while listening to his great "Downpressor Man" anthem totally ruined in such unrespectful way. Another Spear song follows: "Throw Down Your Arms". The next song is the only one that does not belong to the 70's. It is the stellar "Untold Stories" by Buju Banton. Bring Sinead to Buju's yard in August Town and see what happens to the boldhead girl. Guess who is the last track from. Bob's of course. The song is "War". No comment at all. Or if you want one: cry for him. As stated above the music is well performed, top musicians were employed to deliver some good renderings of the originals. They made a good job, and it is not their fault if the final result is so depressing and embarassing. Sinead O'Connor is a great voice, but here she lacks any attempt to deliver a basic Reggae feeling. Roots Reggae is a music sustained by and built upon strong and pure emotions. Anything of this kind will be found in this album. One star to be polite.