Prince Far I

Free from Sin

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This is one of several excellent sets of Prince Far I material still awaiting reissue on CD more than 20 years after their original LP releases. Recorded at Treasure Isle with the backing of the always powerful Roots Radics band, Free from Sin finds Prince Far I in typically apocalyptic mode, delivering stentorian Rastafarian pronouncements in his inimitable gravel-pit growl. Instead of "riding" the rhythms in the manner of most dancehall DJs, Far I delivers his sermons in a declamatory style that floats above the music rather than engaging with it rhythmically, and instead of showing off with clever wordplay, he simply preaches the Rasta gospel. This album offers a number of acknowledged classics, including "I and I Are the Chosen One" and "When Jah Ready You Got to Move." It also, unfortunately, includes the wholly superfluous "Reggae Music." But even in those rare moments when the lyrics fall flat, there are those unbeatable Roots Radics rhythms to keep things interesting. Highly recommended to all Prince Far I fans, though newcomers may want to start with one of the two Front Line compilations (Black Man Land and Dubwise).