Linton Kwesi Johnson

Making History

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On the days I don't think Forces of Victory is LKJ's best album, I think it's Making History. It was as if the four-year break (despite his arduous schedule) re-energized him and Bovell, and the result was this masterpiece of swinging reggae. Johnson's poetry, still delivered in his semi-tuneful sing-song voice, takes on greater musical force on this record, blending in almost seamlessly with the band. Bovell has also taken some chances on this record, namely in the arrangements. There's a lot of busy horn work here, and the rhythms pop and roll more vigorously than ever before, but this doesn't detract from Johnson's intensely lyrical writing, which has rarely sounded more determined. OK, I'll fess up, this is the LKJ album to own if you only intend to buy one. But why you would limit yourself to only one is beyond comprehension.

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