Dubxanne Police In Dub

Seldom have I been so afraid to listen to a disc. Could this be as cringe inducing as the contrived Africa Celebrates U2 disc? Or will it be half decent like the sometimes-inspired Africa Celebrates U2 disc? It’s both. The band behind this project are Germany’s Okada Supersound. They play polished, European-style dub rooted in late ’70s and early ’80s rhythms but with a smoother sheen that complements the Police’s material. Vocalists range from post-punk holdovers like Ranking Roger to old school DJs like Big Youth. Most singers play it relatively straight. This strategy works because, hey, none of them are named Sting, which is an immediate improvement. Most successful is British dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, whose circular philosophising enlivens "Spirits in the Material World.” Other tunes like "Wrapped Around Your Finger” descend into turgid, quiet storm fusion. But it’s the dub that really shines. Minus the vocals, the melodic bass lines and lively chord changes of the Police’s catchiest work remain great pop even in dub form. (Echo Beach)