The American market has opened once again to reggae acts willing to play on the similarities between dancehall and hip-hop, but Morgan Heritage have found a different route to the heartland by sticking to their roots. Like the reggae artists who found a new audience among British punks in the late '70s, the children of the famed reggae singer Denroy Morgan have become the favorite reggae band of today's skater kids, eschewing trendiness for roots sounds and Rasta messages, and sealing the deal with achingly beautiful sibling harmonies second to none in Jamaican music. That formula dominates the group's sixth album, Three in One, with only a couple of exceptions (most notably, the discofied opener, "Jump Around," which features members of the alt-rock band Good Charlotte), and the vintage-sounding production and rich vocal blend makes it a consistently pleasurable listen. That's a good thing, because the Morgans' attempts at pointed topicality are embarrassing at best -- their acoustic "Anti-War Song (Someone Knows)" tries to summon the ghost of Bob Marley and comes up instead with gems like "War doesn't make friends," while Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" is turned into a trivial gripe about the lack of reggae on U.S. radio -- and offensive at worst; the scurrilously anti-Christian "A Who Dem" reaches new lows in Rastafarian discourse. The group is far more effective when the discussion stays personal, rather than political. "A Man in Love," a heartfelt and candid prayer about looking for that elusive someone, is the best of several fine romantic tunes that forge the most durable link here to the Morgans' proud lineage.
AllMusic Review by Dan LeRoy