Popular lightweight reggae pop and rock band Rebelution dropped their sixth album Falling Into Place in early June and it’s just as expected summery with catchy melodies and infectious hooks.
Rebelution is based in California, U.S., and is part of the burgeoning U.S. reggae scene, a scene that includes a broad variety of acts ranging from dancehall star Kranium via a jazzy outfit like Groundation or the more psychedelic John Brown’s Body to deep roots singers like Akae Beka aka Vaughn Benjamin from Midnite.
Rebelution and some of their peers – look for bands such as The Green, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and SOJA – is somewhere in between with their rock-infused pop reggae. They are regulars on the festival circuit and their sound is made for live arenas.
Polished and slick with melodies annoyingly hard to resist and escape.
Reggae music continues to grow in the U.S. with internationally recognized events like The California Roots Festival and Billboard charting artists including Rebelution and Soja. But the U.S. take on reggae has also gained response on the other side of the Atlantic.
Eight-piece reggae band Backbeat Soundsystem from Cornwall, UK, blends vocal melodies and hard-hitting toasting with upbeat and organic riddims on their freshly released third album Together Not Apart.
The UK has always been second to Jamaica in the reggae industry with distinct sounds of lovers rock, steppers and other bass-heavy sub-genres. Backbeat Soundsystem and their debut is something new and the band is well positioned to crossover into the U.S. market.
Together Not Apart has a high tempo throughout. It’s punky and funky with melancholic melodies, multi-layered vocal harmonies, intricate horns and pumping beats. If bands like The Green, John Brown’s Body and the aforementioned Soja and Rebelution is your thing you should definitely check Together Not Apart.
U.S. reggae rock band and Billboard Reggae Chart toppers Rebelution have a new album out on June 10. Count Me In is the band’s fourth album since their debut in 2007, when Courage to Grow was released.
Rebelution was formed in 2004 in Santa Barbara, California, and they have a strong following in the U.S., where they have toured relentlessly for the past years, just like their counterparts in Soja and Tribal Seeds.
Their new album was produced by the band themselves and features guest appearances by dancehall artist Collie Buddz and legendary roots reggae singer Don Carlos, who also shows up on the aforementioned Tribal Seeds’ new album Representing.
The album’s 11 tracks is in a press release described as positive, inspirational and encouraging and aim for having an optimistic impact on society and life.
“A lot of what we hear every day is that money measures success,” says vocalist Eric Rachmany, and adds:
“This new album is a reminder to spread love and positivity to the people around us – these are the true measures of success.”
I’ve just had my first encounter with Hawaiian six piece band The Green. They’re part of the burgeoning U.S. reggae scene with successful bands such as Groundation, Easy Star All-Stars, Soja, Rebelution and John Brown’s Body. And Midnite of course. Even though they represent the Virgin Islands.
Their third album Hawai’I ’13 was recently released and it went straight to the top of the Billboard Reggae Chart and #77 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.
And when listening to the 15 track set it’s easy to understand way. It’s easy accessible and just as appealing as a big scoop of chocolate ice cream on a hot and sunny day.
Some will probably dismiss this album and its fusion of reggae, pop and soul, with a slight touch of rock, as lightweight pop reggae. Well, yes, it is slick and it is as polished as a Wall Street bankers shoes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hawai’I ’13 is jam-packed with infectious melodies, skanking grooves, memorable hooks, beautiful four part harmonizing and sing-a-long choruses.
It can be a bit slick and sugary though. The piano ballad Chocolates & Roses is one such example. Luckily enough there are a number of standout tracks that will keep you interested – Good One and Something About It are two such examples.
Hawai’I ’13 is a positive album from start to finish and it sounds like a warm breeze on a beautiful beach. This is good times with a capital G.