Although it's filled with more pop than reggae, Serious Business represents a pivotal time for Third World. The talented group had spent the '70s and early '80s riding the precarious wave between roots reggae and pop-oriented, crossover reggae. Released in 1989, Serious Business announced the direction that Third World would take from then on. From the catchy, fluffy radio hit "Forbidden Love" to the gratuitous rap solo on "Theme From the Underdog," it's clear that the band chose the pop side and was making no apologies. "Same Old Song," a remake of the
Four Tops classic, lends none of the innovation that reggae remakes usually add to standards, and the South African mbaqanga rhythms of "Take This Song" can't hide the weak attempt at creating a worldwide unity anthem, albeit with an overwhelming pop sensibility. "Reggae Ambassador," both the vocal and dub version, stands out as the album's most creative moment, showcasing Third World's easygoing melodies and fun-loving spirit.