June 29, 1999
ARK 21
Reggae, Roots Reggae

Album Review

Roots Revival is an apt title for this album, since Aswad's greatest successes have been as a pop-reggae crossover band, most notably with the huge 1988 hit "Don't Turn Around." On this one the group returns to its roots with a vengeance. The sound is still pretty slick, but the material includes a remake of Ken Boothe's rocksteady classic "Freedom Street," two seldom-covered Bob Marley tunes ("Caution" and "Thank You Lord"), a decent cover of the Police's "Invisible Sun" (featuring Sting in a guest appearance), and a bunch of relatively roots-wise new originals. The only remaining members of the band, Drummie Zeb and Tony Gad still have a great melodic sense, as evidenced on the smooth and silky "Follow '99" and the churning "Breakout." But the rhythms are deep and compelling as well, resulting in a sound that will move them in the dancehall even as it pleases more roots-oriented fans.
Rick Anderson, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. The Best Times of Our Lives
  2. Freedom Street
  3. Caution
  4. Boom Boom Carnival
  5. Follow '99
  6. Take It Easy
  7. Roots Revival
  8. Breakout
  9. Peace Truce
  10. My Love
  11. Thank You Lord
  12. Invisible Sun
  13. The Best Times of Our Lives [Dub]
purchase full album