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Revelation by Lee Scratch Perry

Revelation by Lee Scratch Perry

Revelation by Lee Scratch Perry

By on - 6 comments

Reggae’s resident madman has more to reveal.


As a reggae producer, Lee “Scratch” Perry has no equal. His body of work as a recording artist, however, hasn’t been nearly as noteworthy. Though he’s managed to make some listenable (and even undeniably good) albums as a singer, it’s always best to approach such albums with caution. If you did just that with Perry’s latest 'Revelation', you might start by reading the song titles.

You’d see titles like Scary Politicians and Freaky Michael, and assume that, yes, Perry is indeed still out of his mind and that some of the other titles like Holy Angels, Books of Moses and Psalm, along with the name of the album itself, probably take on spiritual matters in a way only Perry could get away with. And you’d be right. The best way to listen to this album is to brace yourself (ganja is optional), realize you can never second guess where Scratch might be coming from or going to lyrically, and hang on for the ride. Don’t expect straight-up reggae, ‘cause the rhythms Scratch rants over (produced not by Perry himself but by one John Saxon) may have strong ties to reggae and dub but also incorporate techno, hip hop, minimalist funk and variations on the one drop. As to what Perry is talk-singing about, jeez, where do I start? Apart from the obvious Used to Drive a Tractor in Negrille, just about everything here can be called autobiographical, since Perry constantly drops his name into the proceedings (even referring to America as “Aperryca”). Revelation, Revolution and Evolution and Holy Angels actually manage to be rather lovely and ethereal, Fire Power updates the guest list from the Bob Marley/Lee Perry 1977 collaboration Punky Reggae Party, Scary Politicians and Books of Moses benefit from guest turns by George Clinton and Keith Richards respectively and Freaky Michael does not hesitate to speak ill of the dead by mercilessly skewering the so-called King of Pop. And I’m barely scratching the surface.

There are so many twists, turns, tangents and digressions here, all delivered in Perry’s typical old coot moan (often doubled tracked), that this album almost defies reviewing. But I’ll give you the bottom line: it’s good, it’s a lot of fun, it straddles the line between sense and nonsense in the manner for which Perry is legendary and it’s definitely worthwhile for fans of the man.

Tags: Lee Perry

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Read comments (6)

Posted by Rootsman on 09.14.2010
Maybe once e reggae musical genius.. But that time is long long ago.. Need to be a hardcore Perry fan to like this..

Posted by color me black on 09.14.2010
I like Lee and this album.

Posted by Snorkle on 09.28.2010
Sorry but Holy Angels sounds like it was written by a mentally handicapped individual. I absolutely love Black Ark material, but this is shit.

Posted by Jack Souls on 12.08.2011
Rootsman and Snorkie, who are you? And why people should defer to you? If you don't like it - shut up or go to hell! Who asked you to put your oar in?

Posted by daniel on 12.11.2011
What I like about this album and Perry is that he did not get stuck with one particular sound. What some might consider "shit" others may see past their own pigeon holed ideas of what he "should" sound like and see that the man has continued to move forward. If you want 1973 then listen to 1973, stop trying to force all reggae and dub artists into a one small sound. Makes the genre stale. Great album IMHO, progressive and open minded.

Posted by Haile Up on 04.03.2012
Very good album! Lee Perry the best!

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