Jaqee KoKoo Girl

Jaqee KoKoo Girl
If there's one thing that Uganda-born, Sweden-based Jaqee can't be accused of it's redundancy. Each one of her past three releases has seen her delving into soul, blues and the catalogue of Billie Holiday, respectively. KoKoo Girl is an endearing and quirky venture into old school reggae and ska, with a dash of cool electronica for good measure. With producer Teka (of Koalos Desperados fame) on board, this is a solid set, with Jaqee often evoking such past and present artists as Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths and Lily Allen. Yet there's a goofy charm on "Pink Drunken Elephant" and "Natty Dread" (not the Bob Marley song) that's quite refreshing. There's an endearing thread of optimism and inclusiveness that's hard to resist as well. A personal favourite is the rocksteady-flavoured "Take A Walk with Me," which is sweetened with doo-wop-style backing vocals, sounding something like you might expect Lauren Hill to be doing today. (Rootdown)