The End of an American Dream
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The End of an American Dream is a collaboration between 71-year-old Lee "Scratch" Perry and Steve Marshall in which Marshall has done all the heavy lifting. It is he who composed the music and played all the instruments on the disc. Those instrumental tracks are full of samples and other computer-generated sounds, including everything from actual musical instruments to traffic noise, all arranged into a rhythmic, percussive whole. Perry's role is restricted to what appear to be free-associative vocal improvisations over those tracks. Marshall adds echo effects and sometimes juxtaposes two or three Perry vocals within a track, but the legendary Jamaican artist seems to have just come into the studio and let fly, leaving it to Marshall to integrate his musical musings into coherent songs, more or less. Perry repeats words from one track to the next, and although titles have been assigned to those tracks, sometimes it seems like one title would have worked better on another track than on the one to which it has been affixed. The opening song, for example, is called "Disarm," but Perry spends most of it reciting the names of different countries; it's the final track, "Disco Cats," that finds him using the word "disarm" over and over. He seems to just sing whatever comes into his head, and sometimes that means borrowing words from other songs. For example, "I Will Be There" features lyrics from Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" and Bob Marley's "Punky Reggae Party." Despite its foreboding title, The End of an American Dream is not one of Perry's more ambitious efforts; it doesn't sound like it took him more than one session to record his contributions to Marshall's music, and it doesn't sound like he brought any advance preparation to that session.
long live the true king of reggae
The title track of The End Of An American Dream is the killer for me. That's a very heavy track. It's like a heartfelt lament - brings the tears to your eyes, for real. I also like 'Disarm' - it's a good anti-war song. The album starts and finishes with the same mantra - 'Disarm, Disarm, Drop Arms...' Then there's 'Memories' which is really dark. Are those crows in the mix? It's amazing how Lee Perry keeps coming up with new stuff. The production is nice and Lo-Fi - I'm playing this one on the big blasters. Let the neighbours hear it! Lee Perry takes Reggae to a new dimension (AGAIN!), and manages to stay true to his roots at the same time. Listen carefully to the words - Lee Perry tells the News, Lee Perry conquers Sin, Lee Perry sings love songs, Lee Perry condemns The Unrighteous, and Lee Perry sets the guest list for the Great Punky Reggae Party in the sky! This album is true rebel music - that's what Reggae is all about. "As it was in The Beginning, so shall it be in The End". Imitators beware - the King is Here!
Born: 20 March 1936 in Hanover, Jamaica
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s
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||Croaking Lizard||Super Ape||3:26||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||International Broadcaster (feat. Roots Manuva & L.S.K)||The Mighty Upsetter||5:56||£0.79||View In iTunes|