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The Other Side

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Album Review

After several productive years on the Shanachie label, which resulted most recently in 2002's very fine Soul Taker album, Lucky Dube jumped to Heartbeat in 2003 and promptly released The Other Side, demonstrating yet again how utterly resistant to change his sound is regardless of what label he records for. The elements of that sound are, once again: big, emotional melodies that usually open with a dramatic swoop into the falsetto stratosphere and then fall pentatonically downward; lots of Hammond B-3 organ; and an almost exclusive focus on slow, churning Afro-roots grooves and ridiculously ripe and fulsome chord progressions. And, of course, Dube's voice, which is one of the most attractive in all of reggae music. Because he's African instead of Jamaican, Dube's lyrical themes sometimes depart just a bit from the reggae norm: on "Number in the Book," for example, he encourages sexual responsibility in light of his continent's AIDS epidemic; "Soldier" deals with the psychological impact of war (rather than simply blaming war on Babylon and being done with it); and "Cool Down" is an unusually subtle portrait of a troubled marriage. Musically obvious he may be, but there are other kinds of depth to Lucky Dube's art. Recommended.


Born: 03 August 1964 in Ermelo, South Africa

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Lucky Dube (born Ermelo Dube; pronounced "doo bay") is one of South Africa's best-selling artists and one of its most outspoken performers. Although he initially sang in the traditional Zulu mbaqanga style, his move to reggae in 1984 was sparked by his quest to express his anger against the oppression of apartheid. While The Village Voice observed, "The spirit of Lucky Dube's music and dance epitomizes the spirit of Black liberation", Niceup Magazine wrote, "(Dube's) lyrics have brought an original...
Full bio
The Other Side, Lucky Dube
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Reggae, Music
  • Released: 12 December 2003

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