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Patriots

Third World

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Album Review

When Third World’s redo of “96 Degrees” with the Marley brothers hit reggae radio in 2010, it was a satisfying reminder of their heyday, even if the veteran band had just done the classic-hits-in-a-modern-style thing in 2003 on their 25th Anniversary album. Add their lukewarm 2005 effort Black, Gold, Green, and fans had every right to be skeptical of this star-studded effort, but Patriots is a surprisingly vital recording that’s as comfortable as reggae-pop should be, just not to a fault. Past Stephen and Damian’s effervescent “96 Degrees,” “Front Door” is a crucial highlight with the late, great Gregory Isaacs convincingly playing the broken-hearted Casanova on one of his final recordings. Dedicated to the earthquake-ravaged people of Haiti, “Spirit Lives” is a stately story of triumph, while “By My Side” finds Tessanne Chin and the World’s own William "Bunny Rugs" Clark making modern lovers rock worthy of Beres Hammond. The royalty just keeps coming as Capleton, Tarrus Riley, Toots, and Marcia Griffiths all turn in dynamic performances, but deep reggae fanatics might get the most pleasure out of hearing legendary Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser in top form during the World original “Always Around.”

Biography

Formed: 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

Third World are one of the longest-lived reggae bands of all time, and one of Jamaica's most consistently popular crossover acts among international audiences. While they were long capable of authentic roots reggae, they usually preferred to mix in elements of R&B, funk, pop, and rock (and, later on, dancehall and rap). Purists often criticized their music as tame and polished, overly beholden to commercial concerns. Indeed, they were regular...
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Patriots, Third World
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