Anthony B My Hope

Attention all you "reggae is dead” moaners: turn off Marley’s Legend for once and check out Anthony B. My Hope is brimming with roots and culture riddims for an authentic reggae sound, courtesy of Brotherman’s production and many of the usual suspects: Horsemouth on drums, Dean Frazer on sax, Sticky on percussion, etc. Anthony B’s conscious lyrics put his Rasta faith and global political stance front and centre, and the fact that the music is as dread as the words makes for a strong set. At least three of these tracks — "Global Awareness,” "More Pon More” and "Jah Alone” — are essential listening for any reggae fan. In Peter Tosh style, "Global Awareness” admonishes the "so called leaders of the world” for their plentiful blunders and calls for another true leader like Marcus Garvey. "More Pon More” offers a light-hearted plea for more and more marijuana, and "Jah Alone” is such a perfectly dread meditation on the Most High it’s destined to become a Rasta classic. My Hope is rarely less than immaculate, and even when it is, like on the pedestrian "Girl Look Fine,” the band never stop being interesting. (Imbalance)