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Born To Be Free by Natty King

Born To Be Free by Natty King

Born To Be Free by Natty King

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An album that has the potential to push Natty King to the forefront of the reggae industry.

Sampler

The legendary British selector Dave Rodigan has often lamented the lack of talented singers emerging from Jamaica as deejays and singjays seem to be ten a penny in recent years. The tide might at last be turning with what I believe will be the breakthrough album of the year by Natty King, 'Born to be Free'.

Natty King is a singer with a beautiful voice that emits great feeling, helping the listener to connect to the content of the tunes. For me this album has everything I look for; powerful well constructed riddims that all offer something unique to the listener and a man behind the mike who as well as having an outstanding voice is seeking to uplift the soul of his audience with a positive conscious message. If you have not come across him before you will be blown away, think Luciano and Bushman. Having previously released two solo albums, 'No Guns To Town' & 'Trodding', this I hope is the moment that launches the roots singer, from the parish of St. Thomas in Eastern Jamaica, into the 'Champions League' of reggae artists. A special mention should go to House of Riddim from Austria who produced the album as well as many of the tunes on it and they are certainly turning into one of the power houses of European reggae.

Many will have come across the mesmeric I Love riddim and Natty King includes Slu U in the Open from that release; the tune however is given a slight tweak as the riddim becomes an acoustic piece. I personally feel that the song improves as a result; as the power and feeling of Natty King's voice comes to the fore superbly where he warns of what gangsters are capable of. There are a couple of massive herb anthems on the album, my favourite being a collaboration with Fantan Mojah entitled Herb From The Westmoreland which promotes the purple skunk whilst saying in no uncertain terms that they are Rastafarians who deplore the use of either cigarettes or coke.

Rootsman Chantin is the other big duet with none other than Louie Culture where their two voices compliment each other beautifully to a fast paced riddim. You Don't Have to Steal is another song with a big message over an easy paced roots riddim.

Fyah Bed is an uplifting tune on a pulsating modern roots riddim where the theme focuses on the wrongs of the world and the need for the 'fyah' to burn them out. Buzz Rock Warrior has King stating that there are temptations throughout your life which might lead you into the wrong hands but for him Rastafari is there to guide him onto the righteous path. The title track, Born to be Free is another tune to note and as always the message is powerful as Natty King attempts through his music to empower his people.

The album is so strong that to pick out some of my particular favourites was a hard task as every tune deserves a special mention. Though for the bigger Natty King fans out there you may have come across some of the tunes, which have previously been released on various riddims. 'Born to be Free' could certainly be one of the finest albums released this year and a must have on the shelf of any true modern roots fan.

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Posted by Silvanus on 05.16.2010
Respect Lion, keep the Fire burning Musically.

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