Saturday, February 05, 2011

Album review : Hymns For The Rebel Soul - Rocky Dawuni 9*

For fans of : Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Alpha Blondy

Rocky Dawuni is a reggae artist from Ghana, and his musical career has been going since his debut album was released in 1996.

Hymns For The Rebel Soul is a gorgeous album, if you're a big fan of Bab Marley style slower and highly melodic reggae then you will love this, Dawuni's style on this album harks back to the roots of classic reggae both in its musical style and lyrical content.

Dawuni uses his lyrics to call for gentle and peaceful revolution, brotherhood and love.  Ghana is by a long way the most corrupt or poverty stricken state in Africa, but is still has serious problems, and Dawuni talks of political strife and false promises on Walls Tumblin Down. He summons up grass roots support on African Reggae Fever which opens with some beautiful African choral singing before using Eric Donaldson's Cherry Oh Baby as the tune over which he sings his own lyrics, this is a powerful and uplifting tug at the heart strings and conscience.

Master Plan has a more Afro-beat sound with sharp horns and pattering drums, but mostly Dawuni demonstrates his appreciation of Bob Marley's style of reggae, this is an album filled with melody and easy style. So many of today's reggae artists are producing music in the either the super fast dancehall style, or else they blur the styles so that their reggae isn't easily identifiable from rap/r&b, it is a real pleasure to hear a reggae singer making music with real heart and soul.  Rocky Dawuni is an old school reggae man, but it does not matter that his musical style isn't the most progressive because it is so good, on HFRTS he hardly misses a beat, every song is a slice of wonderfully harmonious reggae goodness.
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