Quick Laps: “Reggae Music Again”, by Busy Signal

Busy signal

More reggae music

Jamaican-born Busy Signal is best known for two distinct musical styles: frenetic, often heavily auto-tuned hard-core dance hall (“Tic Toc,” “Wine Pon Di Edge”) and covers of radio hits from the 70s and 80s. , including “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers and “One More Night” by Phil Collins.

His new album, the excellent “Reggae Music Again”, is an attempt to return to “positive music, conscious music, you know? as he says in the intro of the disc. He further explains the concept of the title track, holding back his foray into roots reggae – and a return to the classical style of music in general – as a way to unite his country: “Remember when, back then , positivity was the message we send… from root to stem / It was Jamaica, no problem.

The album is filled with meaningful lyrics and one-drop beats, and it was recorded at Tuff Gong Studios. It doesn’t get any more classic than that. And despite ditching their usual style, Busy Signal’s dance-hall energy hasn’t gone away, just channeled differently. This translates into Jah’s reverent praise on “Jah Love” and “Sweetest Life,” and pointed political commentary on “Modern Day Slavery” and “Run Weh,” an impassioned piece that addresses the disturbing phenomenon of skin bleaching. . The fast-paced delivery that the founding DJ spent years perfecting is a perfect fit for the lover’s rock song “Missing You” and the horn-filled “Fireball,” which speaks to his diversity as an artist and proves that dancehall and roots reggae have more in common than is often thought.

—Sarah Godfrey

Recommended tracks

“Run Weh”, “Fireball”, “I Miss You”

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