Italian born singer, producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Alborosie follows up on his acclaimed Sound the System, a set released in 2013. Sound the System received rave reviews and the new album – Freedom & Fyah – is equally strong. Even better actually. It’s darker and more uncompromising.
Alborosie continues to do most of the things by himself. He has produced and mixed most of the album and plays several instruments. It’s also recorded in his own studio. Often by himself. He also continues to introduce up and coming artists and let them present their talent to the world. I’d definitely want to hear more from Sandy Smith, Pupa Avril and Sugus. The latter sounds a bit like Horace Andy and has actually been in the business for quite some time and is credited as background singer for Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown. Established performers like Protoje and Ky-Mani Marley also lend their voices to one track each.
Roots reggae is the name of the game on Freedom & Fyah, even though Alborosie flirts with dubstep on Fly 420 and throws in a slice of tough dancehall on Judgement.
The arrangements are often complex with a number of different sounds expanding the audio landscape and Alborosie delivers social commentaries over non-generic riddims with striking and powerful drum and bass. Check an effective and infectious track like Rich or a contemporary rub-a-dub cut like Everything.
When Alborosie put out his debut album Soul Pirate in 2008 he presented a fresh take on roots reggae. He came in from another angle and created his own sound, and has developed it into perfection.