Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bedouin Soundclash - Light the Horizon CD Review - 2010

Formed at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., reggae/dub group Bedouin Soundclash have introduced their fourth full length studio album, Light the Horizon. As far as new music goes, lead singer and guitarist Jay Malinowski is one of the truest, inspired, and honest songwriters in Canadian music since Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip. Accompanied by the calm and collective bassist, Eon Sinclair, and the sturdy drumming of Sekou Lumumba, the band could very well be the best thing to happen to new music.

In May, 2010, the trio travelled to Philadelphia to collaborate and complete the 10-song CD produced by Larry Gold, the in-demand song arranger who has worked with artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, The Roots, Common and countless others.

The first single, Mountain Top has the closest similarity to works from their previous album, Street Gospels. The most well known Bedouin Soundclash style – upbeat rhythmatic melodies blending reggae and ska to create catchy, faced paced party songs such as St. Andrews and Shelter. The remainder of the album for the most part, draws back to their rawer, more laid-back reggae roots that were a bit more prominent in their first two releases, Root Fire, and Sounding a Mosaic.

Although I could say something about every song on the album, some of the stand-out songs were Fools Tattoo – a catchy, slower paced reggae tune with unforgettable lyrics; May You Be the Road and No One Moves, No One Gets Hurt, each give off a similar blend of tribal/folk/reggae that is unique to Bedouin and rare in music these days. Brutal Hearts – a duet with the melodic French-Canadian songwriter Coeur de Pirate that will put you in a trance and Rolling Stone – another party song that has some of the most catchy verses and innovative drumming in the whole album.

Light the Horizon is definitely some of Malinowski’s best lyrical work, and Bedouin’s tightest, most articulate release to date.  The band is always good for a solid collaboration on their albums, with past guest artists such as Vernon Maytone of The Maytones, Wade MacNeil of Alexisonfire, and now Coeur...

I think Bedouin’s next move is to collaborate with fellow respected Canadian music-maker, Gord Downie?…

- Blayzer

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