On their fourth album, Almamegretta largely turns away from a Mediterranean take on dub-rooted On-U Sound science to connect with the larger jungle/drum'n'bass/electronica rhythm audience on the modern international dancefloor. The Italian quartet's trademark sonic elements and impressive command of texture flavor full melodies of structured songs, here more engaged than the guerilla techniques of the dub/mix culture. Lingo was recorded in England and various U.K. rappers contribute English lyrics, another sign that Almamegretta was bidding for a broader audience than Italy and the dub underground. "Rootz" is more of a drum'n'bass/jungle sound and "En-Sof" follows the same rhythmic path in a pretty muted fashion, with atmospheric keyboard layers and vocals dominating the arrangement. "47" falls more into trance/chill-out mode and "Suonino" grooves electronica-ally over a heavily wah-wahed keyboard bass. "Gramigna" rides a throbbing, upfront bassline by Count Dubullah (formerly of Transglobal Underground), but the reggae element is almost completely absent from the rhythmic equation. The basslines, largely split between Bill Laswell and Dubullah, are central to the songs, but they're more reggae-inspired than reggae-derived. Lingo is a good record and far from a failed experiment, but you have to wonder why Almamegretta so completely ignored their earlier base (and one they were exceptionally good at) in exploring these related realms.
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AllMusic Review by Don Snowden