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Jamaican Celebration

The Israelites

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Album Review

Unlike most of their colleagues on the born again Christian ska scene (OK, unlike Five Iron Frenzy, anyway), the Israelites are wholly devoted to the old school. Also unlike them, they tend to save the proselytizing and testifying for the acknowledgments in the liner notes — though when they cover "Honor Your Mother and Your Father" there does seem to be a certain extra oomph to their delivery, and good for them. Elsewhere, listeners get a workmanlike rendition of "Phoenix City," a more fervid rendition of the gospel ska classic "Washaway," and an original number called "Shanty Town" that has nothing to do with the old Desmond Dekker chestnut. The tracks taken from their long out of print debut LP are nicely remastered here, and the six new tracks recorded to fill out the reissue are just as good. There's nothing here that will change the way you hear traditional ska and rocksteady, but there's a lot to love for fans of the genres.

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