Today we take on a highly acclaimed and controversial album in the world of reggae, with the artist Burning Spear and his album “Marcus Garvey”, a tribute to the Jamaican black separatist Marcus Garvey. To this day, I still recall the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center at my alma mater in Colorado, and admire his legacy of resistance, even though like many heroes of the time, his background also has some less celebrated and more complicated views on world balance and equity. This album is rated #2 on rateyourmusic.com’s Top 10 Reggae Albums of All Time.
Musically, the album is very inviting and the groove of the reggae beat rings out very authentically and consistently throughout the record. There aren’t many songs that stand out, as it is a pretty steady sound across the album, but I do like the chill “Live Good”, and there is an interesting samba-sound that opens “Jordan River”. The production quality and the musicianship, which is often very subtle and under-produced in reggae, is really well done and the entire album is just easy to take in, especially on a late night by the humid air and rolling seas outside my window.
I have really enjoyed stretching my boundaries with the new reggae music I am learning along the way, and in addition to my master playlist, I have an “island” playlist that is becoming greatly enriched with the inclusion of artists like Burning Spear.