I don’t know where to begin. I lack words to describe my feelings, but I’ve an urge to at least try to convey my emotions when listening to Takana Zion’s third full length album Rasta Government.
Joy, pride and euphoria are words that run through my mind when writing this. But also thoughtfulness and honesty, because the lyrics on Rasta Government is a cultural affair and deals with injustice, inequality, love and unity. Song writers such as Winston Rodney and Bob Marley spring to mind.
Takana Zion has outperformed himself this time. His first and second albums were highly impressive efforts, but the third one takes things just a little bit further.
Rasta Government is uncompromising roots reggae in a 70’s style. Takana Zion has toned down the African influences to a minimum and sings mostly in English, whereas his previous albums have included at least four different languages. This makes his new effort his most accessible album yet.
He has previously been described as an African version of Sizzla. Sure, Takana Zion is a singjay sensation from Guinea, but his voice has matured and on Rasta Government his singing is better than ever. You can hear a resemblance to both Garnett Silk and Culture’s late lead singer Joseph Hill. But Takana Zion has a modern edge. His raspy, angry and desperate tone has an uplifting sincerity.
I sometimes complain that contemporary reggae albums contain too many tunes. This time it’s the opposite. Ten tracks are just not enough. Luckily though, Takana Zion is just 24 years old, so he has plenty of time recording another set of classics.
The music that was created in Harry J’s studio in Jamaica by producers Sam Clayton and Stephen Stewart as well as musicians such as Sly Dunbar when recording Rasta Government is bliss. This is the best album I’ve heard so far this year.
I hope that these words have got through and that you understand how I feel. Because this is not a review, this is a love letter.