Album Review: Lee "Scratch" Perry - Rootz Reggae Dub
LEE "SCRATCH" PERRY
Rootz Reggae Dub
Reggae music has sustained the test of time, kept close to its humble beginnings, grown an even stronger fanbase by staying true to its original message, and influenced so many of today’s acts. Names such as Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Toots and the Maytals, and Lee “Scratch” Perry have all become the legends of the genre – the latter, who has recently released a new album titled Rootz Reggae Dub. Perry, the legendary pioneer who has worked with Marley, The Beastie Boys, The Clash, and more, immediately transports you to the islands with the ultra-positive, feel good lyric of opening track “Sun Is Shining.” His unique style of talkative monologue over the top of reggae kissed dub instrumentation is the signature he’s become known for and it’s well on display here as he balances several different styles together into one blended family of sound. You can’t help but groove along with the up-tempo vibe that’s usually associated with reggae on tracks like “Some Day Play, Right Now Stay,” or on the tropical jams “Like A Megawave” and album closer, “Rewind.” But he doesn’t stay that course completely; there’s an interesting piano driven element on “Evil Man Loose In The World,” and also a strong connection to the genre’s age-old, desperate message of needing, peace, love, and unity in a troubled world on “When Will The War Be Over” and “Stop Killing Your Brothers Down.” When songs like “Ever Forward” kick in, you’ll no doubt find the exact place where groups like Sublime or Slightly Stoopid have drawn influence from. Though this is a collection of new material from Perry, his strong focus on the roots reggae sound and original dub feel still makes it feel like a nostalgic trip back to the time when sound system operators hosted dance parties across Jamaica.