Eddy Grant

Reparation

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Showing no signs of growing old and clamping down, Eddy Grant boldly titles his 2006 release Reparation, a call for restitution for the transatlantic slave trade. Fittingly, the title cut is the album's key track, with Grant urgently crying out for answers over a frantic, synthetic soca beat while crunching guitars remind everyone that this is the man who cranked out the glorious rock-reggae-dance blends "Electric Avenue" and "Living on the Front Line." Of course, he's also the man who wrote and recorded "Baby Come Back" and "Romancing the Stone," sunny and light tracks of which the easygoing "Everything Irie" brings reminders. The advantage the songs on Reparation have over these old chestnuts from over two decades ago is that, left to his own devices and recording for his own Ice/Ringbang label, Grant doesn't have to make the production overly glossy or pander in any other way to a major label. This makes the embarrassing and desperate "Everybody Rappin'" -- which does the usual "what's with these kids today and their music?" shtick -- all the more frustrating, especially when compared to the trilogy of poignant and sure songs ending the album. Minus "Everybody Rappin'," Reparation stands with the best of Grant's early work and proves that the Ringbang Man can age gracefully without losing his edge.

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