This, Brown‘s 17th album to hit the world stage, is a defining moment in his storied career over three decades. Drawing directly from UK lovers Reggae, the timelessly popular Virgin Islands Roots and Foundation Jamaican Dub rockers vibes, “Rootical” can rightly claim legitimate Roots in each of these genres. “Rootical” will be released October 1st on iTunes, October 8th on CD and all digital vendors.
Joining the truly versatile venerable, multi award winning, talented, and repeat #1 charting singer Mr Brown, are an amazing list of international guest vocalists who bring even more credentials to the record: Pressure (from the Virgin Islands), Jahdan Blakkamoore (Guyana) and Trini born and bred, Queen Omega as well as UK-based chanter Yisrael Immanuel.
Backed by the Zion I Kings production team (Laurent ‘Tippy’ Alfred, Andrew ‘Moon’ Bain and Jah David), each of the 13 tracks are rooted in ZHP’s signature recording, mixing and mastering values as heard on critically acclaimed projects earlier this year from Cornel Campbell and General Jah Mikey. While the root of the album is Conscious Reggae, Lloyd Brown finds fertile ground within a world of music to nurture an organic and dynamic listening experience.
A marvelous mix of rhythm and vocals, “Rootical” provides an inspirational getaway for the Reggae faithful and World Music fans. Opening with ‘Live in Love’, Lloyd Brown reminds us that complacency is not an option. With the senses thus awakened, Brown invites 2-time iTunes Reggae Album of the Year award winner, Jahdan Blakkamoore, to join him for beautifully composed duet.
From the very first note, “Keep On Keeping On” delivers an honest message of hope and resilience – the power to keep on is inside each and every one of us, “love up yourself” – to those struggling to find the energy and inspiration. Keeping it “Rootical” on the title track, Brown, takes us back to Old School Reggae vibes with a groovy mix of dub and heavy Drum and Bass before Pressure makes a seamless connection between Foundation Roots Reggae and the deejay trade.
“What You Sow”, the album’s first single, elaborates on the Dub One Drop while Brown cleverly emphasizes the Dub delay with lyrics just a step behind the beat. Featuring subtle elements such as the melodica on “Not From Me” and almost Retro, 90s style synths on “Winds of Change”, Lloyd Brown shows a considerable respect for the music’s legacy, one made all the more powerful as Lloyd Brown channels the lyrical vibes of his personal inspiration, the late great Dennis Brown.
Perhaps recognizing the trials and tribulations of the late “Crown Prince”, “Rootical” is keenly focused on perseverance and positivity. “Have I Got Through To You”, starts off with a Nyabinghi-style drum pattern which sets a steady pace for Brown’s plaintive and bluesy vocals that ask listeners to bear witness to which Brown responds, “can’t hear yah, can’t hear yah”.
“Na Na Na” picks up the pace with a One-drop Riddim and chunky guitar riffs while turning the tables on the blues (here he shows his listeners they don’t have to be blue over heartbreak, just sing and rock “Na Na Na”). Elaborating even further on “I Dont Think You Heard Me”, Brown slows things down to show every action has a reaction.
Speaking of action and reaction, the final two collabs on the album offer innovative approaches to the traditional call and response.
First, Yisrael Immanuel co-signs on “How Could I”, a contemplative singer’s narrative punctuated by Immanuel, the deejay, who drives the tune forward for a change of speed. Next up, Queen Omega joins Brown for the duet “Together”, connecting the root with its organic completion. “Just One Time” – a soothing One Drop Lover’s Reggae approach to Roots Reggae reality lyrics – and “Can’t Lose Sight” – which closes one chapter and opens another on a Nyabinghi beat – offer a lover’s redemption in Reggae format.
Lloyd Brown’s new album Rootical captures three decades of musical achievement with a fresh presentation courtesy of Zion High Productions’ classic modern sound. Input from bright young voices and the world music vision of ZHP’s production partners, the Zion I Kings, takes Brown’s musical essence and from the Root to the branches of Dub, Lovers Rock and Steppers Roots Reggae.
Get to the root of the music – October 1st on iTunes, October 8th on CD and all digital vendors.
“Rootical” is distributed by A-Train Entertainment.