Lee "Scratch" Perry / Lee "Scratch" Perry & the Upsetters / The Upsetters

Return of the Super Ape

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AllMusic Review by

A follow-up to the highly acclaimed dub opus Super Ape, Return of the Super Ape, like most sequels, never reaches the heights of its predecessor. There are, however, some exceptional moments that make the album worth a careful listen. Most notable are the dark "Psyche and Trim," and the celebratory "Dyon-Anaswa," and the near-comical "Tell Me Something Good." Unlike Super Ape, which never lets up the intensity, Return of the Super Ape contains a few throwaway cuts that seem more like a showcase of sound effects and never quite deliver that deep dub groove. Still, the album showcases yet again the prodigious production skills of undisputed dub master Lee "Scratch" Perry's insanely layered textures and technical wizardry. With the Upsetters providing deft musical backing, Perry leads the listener through a surreal world of psychedelic Rastafarianism with lyrics like "We gotta get the vampire, we got to put him on a wire...Jah Jah is a natty dread." Relentless, ganja-stoked basslines and eerie echoes punctuate all the tracks, but overall it's not quite deserving of the "super" title.

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