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Wednesday, October 20, 1999

Higher vibration

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Every now and then, artists outdo themselves. They go to places, creatively, that are too distant, too universal to be bound by what they normally do. It’s as if they string together previous moments in their career like railroad tracks and illustrate how they have traveled, inched closer and culminated in an album that sounds like it must have been a destination. The years before were all part of the journey.

Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers have reached a destination, a place where their level of spiritual enlightenment seems to be reaching heights that would make their father proud. In fact, you can hear Bob on much of Spirit of Music. And not just in Ziggy and Stephen’s voices. They’re his sons, so they naturally sound like Bob. Hell, Stephen Marley has always sounded especially like Daddy. This time, it’s the words and the messages they form. They are simply profound, and that is to be taken literally. Simple and profound.

When Ziggy sings, "There is a spirit we all know/Yet we don’t know/Yet we don’t know/We are one," he gracefully and succinctly states what it may take eons to learn. The melodies over which he and his siblings sing these vibrations, and so many others such as "One Good Spliff," "Hide Tide, Low Tide" and "Keep My Faith," fit the messages like amens to testimony.

It’s only on "Beautiful Day" that the Melody Makers toy with a commercial demon, and they even manage to make that fit. Sharon and Cedella continue to provide some of the most beautiful harmonies in reggae, as the family continues to guard the legacy that Robert Nesta began.

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