Boom Shaka

Rebel-Lion

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In 1998, Boom Shaka joined the Shanachie roster with Rebellion, its most visible album up to that point and its most appealing. Quite a few reggae artists had been bending over backwards to appeal to the dancehall audience and were drawing heavily on dancehall and hip-hop. Shaka, however, acquired a small following in L.A. by taking a melodic approach that was greatly influenced by early Steel Pulse as well as Third World. The things associated with dancehall -- hard, electronic rhythms, a lack of melody, a macho "rude boy" attitude, gangster posturing -- are missing from this CD. Melody is the rule on soulful tunes like "Burden and Time," "Beggar in a Goldmine" and "Sunshine," all of which make reggae's R&B roots quite obvious. In fact, lovers of the great soul music of the 1960s and 1970s will find a lot to admire about this CD (which also boasts an impressive remake of Prince's "Sign of the Times"). Arguably Boom Shaka's crowning achievement, Rebellion was among the finest reggae releases of 1998.

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