Review: Droop Lion – Ideologies

By Liam Monaghan

I really enjoyed this “Ideologies” album! Droop Lions voice is so unique and listening to him I hear a few other artists such as Beres Hammond but importantly his voice is unique. He captures the balance of modern and old riddims and has created a traditional set of Reggae tracks with a modern feel whilst mixing it up with a Dancehall based track and an almost Rock ballad. Ill be the first to grab a ticket when he hits the UK and I suggest you do too.

 

Have You Seen The Rain
A chilled way to start off the album with a really relaxing riddim that has the traditional roots vibes and feelings to it but I think for me in this track the highlights are the harmonies. They are extremely powerful, Droops voice really made me listen hard initially because I couldn’t get my head around it and I wasn’t too sure it suited the riddim but after a few listens I got it. I enjoyed it! A lyrically focused track and a nice hook on the chorus.

Screaming
Different feel to this track compared to ‘Have You Seen The Rain’. Droop has one of those raw voices that you’d hear from Beres Hammond that is so unique! I do like this track, its upbeat and modern with hi hats shimmering throughout with a huge kick drum setting that riddim structure. A nice use of harmonies again and I think after a few listens again, it works well with Droop’s voice. I do like droops voice on more a traditional roots rock reggae riddim as if he covered Last War by Zap Pow it’d be a hit!

Katta
A nice riddim, its bouncy with some nice piano pieces across the board. I really like the bass in this track, I think on a system it will hit you in the chest and force you to dance in some sort of way. The harmonies are quick and catchy, I know I’ve mentioned harmonies in the last few tracks but really emphasize the voice of Droop. The lyrics in this track are definitely worth listening too! A good listen and a good message from Droop in this track, nice.

Leaders Sell Out
The start of this track reminded me of the tones of Lady Smith Black mambazo or the start of the banana boat song. I think the rawness of Droop’s voice is what makes him unique but the chanting and power from his voice make his records stand out. The riddim is more traditional with African like hand drumming throughout which changes the album up. The track as you would expect by the name is political but it’s not a preachy record so it’s a nice listen.

Modern Slavery
Droop brings in the trumpets on this track which gets me excited as regular readers of my reviews will know, im a fan of brass. Now the aim of this track is to highlight modern slavery and surprisingly to some, slavery wasn’t a thing of the past and involved chains. Slavery is rife today around the globe physically and mentally and is a very big issue. Droop uses a nice chilled riddim to put the focus on his messages and lyrics to discuss modern slavery, an important song on the album.

Talk About It
A nice change on the album here. you’ve got a breakdown at the start of the record which follows some wicked horns and we hit the breakdown for the vocal with some quick guitar whamming before the bed is laid of a wandering bass line and Droops rustic voice accompanied by some angelic harmonies tell the story of why we don’t talk about things! I like the riddim as its fresh and different from a lot of riddims out on the Reggae scene at the moment.

Farmer Man
Farmer man, no not Jah Mason but bring that naughty 90s Dancehall riddim in with big drums and wind Droop up and let him go. Lion’s versatility is proven here, as this song is different from what we’ve been hearing so far. The lyrics are very much serious and keep you listening hard so you don’t lose the story! This track is definitely is one for the Dancehall! One of my favourites on the album purely just on the energy of this track.

Jah Wind Is Blowing
We slow things back down as we move into a more traditional riddim but still a huge track. The riddim is simple and theres not too much too it however there’s this big band feel with wicked brass and those backing singers echo Droops voice. A very catchy hook on the chorus and youll find this will be a solid song to perform live, you can picture the breakdown and the crowds shouting Jah wind is blowing Jah breeze is blowing can you feel it. Nice track.

Ganja Baby
Ganja man… ganja pram… ganja land… weed is the theme here there’s no question. It’s a weed appreciation song basically but its nice and light hearted and not pushing legalisation down your throat. An easy listen from Droop with some light hearted lyrics and it’s very enjoyable and a chilled out song. The riddim is bubbly and if you listen on decent speakers the bass line is weighty.

Time For Love
One for the lovers and a different feel from Ganja Baby, Droop discusses the lack of love in the community but also social issues globally such as lack of water and corruption in congress. Unity is key at the moment, it’s a very dangerous world currently and Droops effort in 3 minutes and 39 seconds to convince people that love is the way rather than continue with the issues in life.

Lock Down
Something very different now… this is very much a rock ballad with a Reggae style bridge. Its very different from what we’ve been hearing from Droop over the course of the album. It’s a serious track about Babylon and being locked up whilst providing for his wife and children. The more you listen to Droop you appreciate how much of a serious track it is. Electric guitars ring throughout with aggressive drumming to show a different side of the Lion.

You Cant Hurt Her No More
As we hurtle towards the end of the album, a bit of a come down in tempo from the previous record but we steer back to that rootsy vibe that we heard earlier on in the album. Lyrically one of the best tracks on the album by far. The chorus consists of harmonies and catchy hooks which will be stuck in your head. This is a very enjoyable track and the riddim is uplifting.

Free Way
Keeping things chilled as we reach the climax of the album, awesome vocal strength from Droop pushing that voice as hard as it will go in this track. Id love to see this track live as its very uplifting and it’s a song that connects to everyone because of its relevance. The riddim is bubbly with a heavy bass line and yep, those harmonies with a warm guitar solo to bridge the track. A really nice way to set us up for the end of the album.

Pray For Them
So the end is here, Droop stirs our emotion with this track. Droops praying throughout for the hardship people suffer whether its natural disasters or you lose someone you love. It feels like Droop is actually speaking to you like you’re the only listener in the room. The riddim is pretty chilled and soft. It’s a really nice way to end the album and on a positive note too.

 


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