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Cool and Dread

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Crítica do álbum

Because Brutal out Deh was such a striking debut album, the Itals' subsequent releases seem to suffer unfairly by comparison. For any other roots harmony group, Cool & Dread might be viewed as a career highlight, but since the Itals already accomplished that feat on their first try, they'll have to settle for recording another tight, provocative, sometimes transcendent set of songs. Keith Porter, Ronnie Davis, and David Isaacs produce themselves on this effort, supported by the combined talents of the Roots Radics and the Vital Band. Effective use of keyboards and punchy horns adds unexpected toughness without detracting from the hypnotic rhythms and gorgeous harmony vocals. Sometimes the trio's voices are so lovely and uplifting they nearly conceal the seriousness of the lyrics. The sunny vocals of "Material Competition" belie the song's anti-materialistic message to the point where the Itals almost sound as if they are celebrating materialism rather than criticizing it. Yet that same cheerful, positive delivery gives "Sing Farewell" a wistful credibility that might actually persuade a listener to follow their example and turn the other cheek while humming the inescapable chorus. The heavenly "Peace and Love" is also instantly memorable. The album ends with the persuasive groove of "Jah Help Those" (who help themselves), which segues into "Helpful Dub," allowing the Itals to explore creatively while inspiring their audience. Cool & Dread matches the quality of any Itals album since their remarkable debut, and thanks to those incredible harmonies, soul searching has rarely sounded so exhilarating.

Biografia

Formado: 1975

Género: Reggae

Anos em actividade: '80s, '90s

One of Jamaica's signature harmony groups, the Itals were chiefly responsible for keeping the sound and spirit of roots reggae alive well into the dancehall era. They didn't get as much attention as other great vocal trios from the roots era (Culture, the Mighty Diamonds, the Wailing Souls, etc.), partly because their '70s releases were confined to 45-rpm singles. When they finally made the leap to LPs in the '80s, they attracted highly positive notices from many reggae aficionados, even despite...
Biografia completa
Cool and Dread, The Itals
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