Tell It From the Heart

Oct 29, 2003 at 12:00 am

He enters the stage to perform — no, to minister — carrying scripture in one hand, and a microphone in another. Luciano prays before he sings, if not always, then every time I have seen or heard him. He treats his music as more than mere blends of words and instrumentation. His songs are reverential moments meant to impact people in permanent ways.

Luciano does not leave listeners guessing about what he has come to discuss. He has come to chant down Babylon, and lift up Jah.

Tell It From the Heart begins the same way as his live performances, in “Prayer.” As he gives thanks and praise, the riddim to the album’s seventh track, the brooding “Bombs,” a treatise on war, provides his backdrop. “Ends of Never” promises that he will love Jah until the time to stop loving is appointed. That time, according to Luciano, will never come.

Luciano’s roots vibration stays consistent on tracks like “Another Moses,” which assures listeners that prophetic voices like Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey still appear in our midst from time to time. “I Grow Up” is a declaration of will, to survive despite the illnesses and evils of the world.

Tell It is reggae fare for Southern gospel. Luciano is not looking for you to make him the next Sean Paul. Platinum is not his color. He wants to affirm his faith to you, in the hopes that you will be inspired to affirm your own. Thus, you will receive the same messages of peace, love and love of Jah that you have received from Luciano for more than 20 albums.

The beats are new. The messages are renewed. To have Luciano tell it, that’s how it works when you keep the faith. There’s no need for new messages, because the old ones work every time.

E-mail Khary Kimani Turner at [email protected].