REVIEW: Bushman – Conquering Lion

A new album with 13 tracks is arriving from Bushman titled Conquering Lion. Bushman has consistently continued to make and push reggae music. Produced under his label Burning Bush Music, the album is jam packed with 13 beautifully crafted roots tracks all maintaining a conscious reggae vibe. We have already seen a track released late last year titled How You Living, which racked up a good amount of youtube figures with some feedback from fans which was in a positive light.

By Liam Monaghan

As times move on and we live in a world of ever-changing technology, Bushman has suggested that he will use social media in future to reach a bigger audience and also attract a new one. “There is something for everyone on this album. The reception has been great so far, with plenty of focus on social media to spread the magic around,”

Along with this album we can welcome some news on Bushman taking to the stage in Europe with some upcoming shows, with an American and European tour in discussions.“Bushman is always promoting good positive music not just for Jamaica but the world at large, so I will be trekking across Europe and America later on in the year spread some good vibes.”

First track on the album and we are welcomed with Judgement Judgement Judgement. The riddim is a deep riddim which creates a moody feel across the track. The bass line is deep and theres some heavy drumming and gentle guitar work allowing Bushman to chant across the track. Man kind needs to stop misusing their power and change they’re ways. Theres mentions of a government having no conscience. A serious track to kick the album off but a track which makes you think.

King Rastafari
As the title suggests, this track discusses how Rastafarian is a way of life and not a religion, I’ve not actually ever heard someone say that, its always been presented as a religion to me so the concept of the way you live your life was quite refreshing. The riddim is a standard reggae riddim, its moderately upbeat with little going on however the harmonies in this track across the chorus are a nice touch!

Conquering Lion
Bushamans voice is a wicked voice, he can hold those big notes and fly up and down that scale which hits home emotion in his tracks, this track shows the passion you can hear in his voice. The track is a rasta appreciation record and the beat is weighty with big another deep bass line which will force you to nod your head or tap your feet!

How You Living
Brass at last! I do like a trumpet or a saxophone and we have some. The riddim is slightly slower than the records we’ve heard so far but this riddim doesn’t feel as serious at the other tracks we’ve heard. Theres an interesting segment suggesting parents aren’t supervising children and how they dress and what they get up to, sex is exposed to kids from early too. Lyrically the best track for me because its tacking issues which I feel are very current issues..

The track is quite a simple track and not a style we’ve heard so far on this album from Bushman. Bushman addresses that its a shame his people feel pain whilst theres issues like the recession, global war and also how the world is growing but not in a good way where tree’s don’t grow and rivers don’t flow.

The track is slightly different to what we’ve heard from the previous tracks again which is nice because as an album listen its good to keep things fresh. The riddim is fresh with a choppy bass line and the focus has gone on percussion which gives a clear influence of Africa. Big harmonies on the chorus will give an amazing live element of this track.

Jungle Proverbs
Stripped back Bushman is a great sound, classical guitar plucking away with some flute work. The mission statement was to use the sounds of the jungle and to a degree it works. I like the lyrics throughout this record “Lion in a mouse world, you have to be strong to stay alive, a dog eat dog world” should give the message in the track. An uplifting track from Bushman.

Burning Love
A romantic number from Bushman on this record, he just cant get the persona off his mind! We’ve touched on topics such as war, religion, government and a love song was coming. The riddim isn’t a busy riddim and gives Bushman a platform to tell us about his burning love. The lyrics are nice and fluffy, by this I mean, this is not a cheesy classic love song serenading someone, it has depth.

A track about music here. Theres not too much to discuss on this track. Bushman wants the slector to shut up and play reggae music, his girl wants to dance! I actually find this sound quite funny personally as I can hear several people in my head from previous live gigs where people have told sound men to be quiet! A chilled out track.

Always On My Mind
The riddim has a dancehall vibe! Its not old school 90’s but the new wave of dancehall with those keys and electronic sounds. Its a nice track! Bushmans versatility shows in this track with how he adapts to a different tempo and also his delivery. The track itself is an open letter to a persona who he’s missing tremendously. A simple love song which is a good listen and something different.

Evil Con Evil
Its difficult to not think of Evil Kanevil in this track its actually Evil Con Evil. The message is that you cant trust people as they can be deceitful. Its actually quite true and I think everyone in life has these people who turn up when things are going well but when things aren’t, they are no where to be seen. Its a powerful track, my favourite on the album.

We Mean it Ft Capleton
The only collaboration on the album, who else but the fyah man himself Capleton. The harmony between these two artists sound incredible. Capleton really has that grit and power in his voice with contrasts with Bushman well and the the hook in this trac is exceptionally catchy. The tune reminds me of a 90’s reggae track, the style and you could imagine junior Reid on this style of tune.

Jah Alone
Last track on the album and it has been a journey! This track is a a nice way to end the album off, there is that African style of drumming and harmony which has been welcomed in this album by the listener. The track is Jah appreciation song and its got a soft feel to the record, “Jah alone can answer and comfort me” it contradicts how earlier comments on Rasta is not a religion but a way of life but it depends on your perception of life style and religion.

I think this album is a good solid album. Many topics have been touched and opinion have been given without forcing them down your throat. The riddims have been traditional but have just had enough to keep things fresh and vibrant. I think the collaboration selection was a perfect fit for that record and also Bushmans voice. A good listen!