Benin-born singer Joe Pilgrim spent his childhood in France and started to sing in church at a tender age. At the age of 17 he discovered reggae and has since worked with loads of artists and producers. And last year he was actually involved in no less than three full-length albums – The Good, The Bad & The Addict by Pilah & Joe Pilgrim, Maÿd Hubb & Joe Pilgrim’s Mellowmoon and Joe Pilgrim & The Ligerians’ Intuitions.
Best of the bunch is by far Intuitions and it sounds like nothing Joe Pilgrim has recorded previously. He has mostly voiced heavy and hard dub cuts. Intuitions is something completely else.
The album is divided in four chapters – Illusions and Crises, The Sparkling Light, Intuitions and Incarnations – and is a throwback to 70s Jamaica, especially the sounds of Israel Vibration, but also Culture and Burning Spear. We’re talking dread roots with sweet harmonies and spiritual and humanistic messages overcoming hardships of life and global social justice along with shortcomings contemporary society.
The musicianship on Intuitions is sublime – just listen to the marvelous break and the superb horns in Blind Civilization – and Joe Pilgrim has one of those up-in-the-hills singing styles. This album is yet another proof of the thriving and fantastic French reggae scene.