by: Black Uhuru
The Grammy Award winning Black Uhuru has undergone many transformations and personnel changes in its 20-plus year career. As soon as the reggae world is ready to write the band off as a sweet memory, founder Duckie Simpson comes back with more. The group returned in the '90s with an incredible line-up after Simpson convinced original group member Garth Dennis (who had left to join the seminal reggae group Wailing Souls) and well-respected reggae singer Don Carlos to join its ranks. This set further establishes Black Uhuru as the ultimate (if not only) synth-reggae crew. A heavy reliance on digital trickery adopted while under the guidance of Sly and Robbie is still present, though arguably not as effective as in the band's Island Records era. Highlights include the strangely titled "Dreadlock Pall Bearers" (which is nothing more than a re-recording of the band's own "Time to Unite" from its first album of the late '70s) and "Living in the City." Simpson and crew prove here that, in a reggae world diluted with liberal doses of sex and violence, there is still a voice of reason.