On May 20, 2016, seven time Grammy award winning recording artist Ziggy Marley will release his sixth solo studio album Ziggy Marley through Tuff Gong Worldwide. The album showcases an artist who continues to evolve his own signature sound after re-inventing himself following his departure from Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers in 2000. Fans of his sound, a tight fusion of rock, reggae, and folk, will enjoy what he offers here and fans of his earlier work will be pleasantly surprised to find plenty of that popular reggae sound synonymous with the Marley name.
“Weekend’s Long,” the first single from the album, finds Marley in familiar territory – a tirelessly optimistic tune with ’nuff bump and a nice danceable vibe. Marley comes strong lyrically on the tune as he has proven to be a gifted writer of undeniably catchy and upbeat pop songs (“Sometimes you need some time to play, you think you’re lost but you just found your way, I’ll be your reason”). The tune has an indelible hook (“I found a place where the weekend’s long, don’t check no luggage just carry on, leave the sorrows indoctrinated, ’cause now you are emancipated”) and is a fitting debut single.
On “Amen” Ziggy goes back to his roots with a reggae roots and culture anthem featuring striking horns and guitars. One of the strongest tunes on the album, it is roots reggae to the core (“Who would profit without shame, those who profit from you in pain…Verily I say, I am the first-born son”). Lead guitarist Takeshi Akimoto brings a rock element to the tune with his masterful guitar work. Ziggy teams up with brother Stephen on the acoustically-driven “Heaven Can’t Take It,” a socially conscious song which highlights Marley’s talent as a singer.
On this his sixth solo studio album Ziggy Marley has perfected the pop reggae fusion formula with a diverse set of twelve songs that deliver on themes of love, unity, and just plain goodness. As an artist who once carried forth his father’s brand of socially conscious reggae, Ziggy has now forged his own path as a solo artist with a distinct yet evolving sound that is all his own. The new album wholly embraces this sound without fully departing from the brand of reggae that earned him critical acclaim earlier in his career. Ziggy Marley is his strongest solo effort to date and will surely earn him yet another Grammy nod for best reggae album of 2016.
Needs to tone down that snare in Weekend’s Long, otherwise it’s kind of a cool tune.