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World Is Turning

Toots & The Maytals

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Album Review

For their first album of all new material in two decades, Toots & the Maytals mix in a variety of Jamaican styles, including rocksteady, roots reggae, funky R&B, nyahbinghi, pocomania, gospel, and even a touch of disco-rave. Thanks to the soulful power of Toots Hibbert's voice, which has lost exactly none of its depth and nuance over the years, World Is Turning, even though it was recorded and mixed over an extremely long period (from 1973 to 2000), has a wonderfully coherent feel as if these songs were tracked all at the same session. While there aren't any obvious songs here that measure up to earlier Maytals classics like "Pressure Drop," "Sweet and Dandy," "Funky Kingston," or "54-46 That's My Number," that shouldn't stop fans of the fiery Toots from picking up this release. Among the highlights here is a recut version of "Feel Free," which features a vocal cameo from Luciano.


Formed: 1966

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While they never achieved the commercial success or cultural impact of the Wailers, Toots & the Maytals were nearly as important in the history of Jamaican music; like the Wailers, the Maytals thrived as ska gave way to rocksteady and then evolved into reggae, they boasted one of the island's finest singers and most charismatic frontmen in the great Toots Hibbert, and they worked with many of the most important producers and sidemen on the island. The Maytals were also the band that most clearly...
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World Is Turning, Toots & The Maytals
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