Anthony B Higher Meditation

Prolific even by Jamaican standards, Anthony B’s Higher Meditation is one more hammer hitting the head of Babylon in a career chock full of revolutionary statements. This time around, the Bobo Dread hardly bothers to take time for carnal pleasures — only the laidback remake of "Waiting in Vain” deals with love. Instead, Anthony B chants fire against wickedness and praises his dual primary muses: Jah and ganja. While he’s in top form throughout the album, the riddims are the only thing that occasionally hold him back. Backed by the Firehouse Crew and produced by Frenchie, most of the riddims ("Nah Run from People,” "One Chalice,” "Higher Meditation”) provide roots-y yet tough accompaniment. As well, the Marcus Garvey tribute, "Honour to Marcus,” together with the acoustic "Your Time Has Come” are two of the album’s high points. Occasionally, as on "Ease Off” and "No Passa Passa,” the arrangements are dull and the riddims too basic for Anthony B’s dynamic performance style. And while there’s a large audience that will most certainly applaud any pro-spliff song, "Smoke Weed Everyday” is both lyrically and musically one of the poorest homages to sinsemilla written and certainly doesn’t compare to the excellent "More Pon More” from 2005’s My Hope. (Greensleeves)