Joy and Blues

Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers

Joy and Blues

1993’s Joy and Blues is Ziggy Marley’s most personal and ambitious album to date. It's his earthiest take on reggae, and the album’s plaintive title neatly sums up the spirit of Jamaican music. The title track opens the album in top form, as Marley shifts between roiling verses and an uplifting chorus — a perfect reflection of the song’s theme of a world caught between opposing forces. “Brothers and Sisters,” “Talk,” and “World So Corrupt” expound the Rastafarian values of love, unity and upstandingness in the face of a world without a moral compass, but there is as much message in Marley’s music as in his lyrics. “Rebel In Disguise” is dark and rich as ‘70s roots, while “Head Top” and “This One” expand the sonic textures of reggae. Two impressive renditions of Bob Marley works — the early Wailers tune “There She Goes” and the Richie Havens song “African Herbsman”— prove that Ziggy refuses to retread his father’s music, and instead insists on carving his own signature into the hallowed family tree.

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