Easy Star All-Stars

First Light

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After covering the Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and Beatles songbooks, Easy Star All-Stars finally get around to their first full-length album of original songs with First Light, a satisfying set of jam band reggae with its feet firmly planted in roots culture. The woozy, nighttime Rasta track “Easy Now Star” with special guests the Meditations is a top-shelf version of the modern roots number, while “All the Way” is lover's rock in a “Breakfast in Bed” style, matching that classic Lorna Bennett tune on the sensuality scale. Smoker’s songs are an easy score for this group, but “One Likkle Draw” is still truly inspired, and when it comes to reggae-pop, “Unbelievable,” with Easy Star Records labelmate Cas Haley, shows how to go sunshine without getting too sugary. The dub stuck on the end of the album is the kind of druggy journey in space you’d expect from this top-notch studio crew, and anyone who has seen the group live will enjoy having plenty of vocals from Joanne Williams and Kirsty Rock for their home and headphones. Fourteen tracks that flow by without a hitch prove that this reggae crew has plenty to offer past the tribute album.

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