Burning Spear

Living Dub, Vol. 4 [Heartbeat]

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Burning Spear's most recent album, Appointment with His Majesty, is given the dub treatment on this disc; there are also two new dub tracks on the program which have not previously been released in any form. Winston Rodney, aka Burning Spear, seems to be ageless -- his smoky, drawling voice sounds much the same as it did when he released his first single in 1969. Nor has his lyrical focus changed much; although he's more likely now to sing the occasional love song, he is still primarily concerned with apocalyptic pronouncement and grave admonition. "Dub Appointment" features a pleasant midtempo reggae groove, but strips away all of vocals except for the repeated phrase "make an appointment with His Majesty, " to slightly eerie effect; the rockers' beat and bluesy guitar fills on "Come in Peace" are interrupted by shards of lyrical reference to war and destruction. It's not exactly easy listening, but to those with ears to hear, Burning Spear makes some of the most compelling reggae there is.

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