Ziggy Marley: Wild and Free (Tuff Gong)

 |   |  <1 min read

Ziggy Marley: Roads Less Traveled
Ziggy Marley: Wild and Free (Tuff Gong)

After a faltering start with the Melody Makers, Ziggy (now 42) uncoupled his music from overly familiar reggae rhythms and incorporated African sounds, hooked up with rap artists, kept a political agenda and all the while didn't veer too far from his father's path and sometimes the classic sound.

Here his collaborators include Woody Harrelson on the title track (“I see hemp fields forever growing wild and free, I see marijuana trees blowing in the breeze”) where “the smell of dissent is high” sound like “the smell of the scent is high”, and rapper Heavy D on the laboured It.

Much of this is typically uplifting reggae-pop which is memorable for its rhythms, natty arrangements, classy embellishments and catchy choruses.

Ziggy – in excellent voice throughout, and late-period Bob-like in places – demands a personal revolution and a new perspective for ordinary people (the uplifting Changes). Road Less Traveled has an eerie urgency while he drops in some interesting lyrics about his family.

But Forward to Love is AOR/MOR pop reggae, Get Out of Town has a great tune but trite lyrics and Reggae in My Head doesn't venture much further than that.

However Ziggy delivers a decent, musically diverse reggae album (check the odd, political Elizabeth at the end) in a Catch A Fire-referencing cover only let down by avoiding interesting words when a handy rhyme (misused/refused/abused) will do.

Like the sound of this, then check these people out.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Reggae articles index

BURNING SPEAR INTERVIEWED (2000): Still tending his crop

BURNING SPEAR INTERVIEWED (2000): Still tending his crop

Burning Spear lets go a deep, resonant laugh which starts as a chuckle then becomes increasingly full-throated. Savour that moment, it's the only break in his gravitas during this friendly,... > Read more

Bob Marley and the Wailers/Scientist: In Dub Vol 1 (Universal)

Bob Marley and the Wailers/Scientist: In Dub Vol 1 (Universal)

With only a few exceptions, these 11 BMW tracks dubbed up and down by Scientist are disappointing and in many instances surprisingly unadventurous. This collection originally appeared on-line a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Green River

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Green River

In a freewheeling and enjoyable interview before a solo show in 2005, John Fogerty -- mainman behind CCRevival -- laughed about how at the height of the counterculture in the late Sixties bands... > Read more