Teach Them Right is Apple Gabriel’s follow-up to his solo debut Another Moses released in 1999. During the past eleven years Apple Gabriel has been living a tough life in the streets of Atlanta, USA.
His struggling is reflected in both the music and the lyrics on Teach Them Right – “To all those homeless people, I know your cry” he sings in the album opener Mr. Conman, a great introduction to this phenomenal and occasionally autobiographical album.
Teach Them Right is produced according to the 12” principle. This is a great Jamaican tradition that offers the listener a dub version to the original tune and makes the music experience very enjoyable.
The arrangements are bluesy and jazzy without ever losing their reggae roots. Apple Gabriel sounds like he did back in the 70’s – hissing, nasal and with a clear vibrato. Sometimes it sounds like his is whispering rather than singing and his delicate voice may seem a bit shaky at times. But that’s all part of his narrative. Don’t be fooled, Apple Gabriel’s voice is very distinct and may take some time to appreciate. But when you come to understand it, you will love it.
In Gifted Ones he pays tribute to great soul singers and plays effectively with melodies to a wicked jazzy backdrop with some major percussion work. In Give Them Love, Apple Gabriel gets political and corrects fellow rasta singers that show intolerance. This tune is based on Chezidek’s Live and Learn, the best tune on his Judgment Time album.
Teach Them Right is quality roots reggae produced in a very careful way. It’s vintage without sounding outdated or dull. And Apple Gabriel’s devotional singing stands in bright opposition to all the auto-tuned crap released these days.
The album is released in Europe and the U.S. on the Heartbeat label on November 15th. Hopefully their wide distribution will give this release the recognition it needs.