Published Feb 12, 2016Love Herb & Reggae marks Taj Weekes & Adowa's fifth studio release, and the musical evolution is evident. The vocal elements are confident, the musicianship tight and the lyrical content as righteous as ever. St. Lucian-born singer-songwriter Weekes speaks to his Rastafarian faith throughout, and a lyric like "Marshall your convictions / Thoughts can be bought," as heard on opening track "Let Your Voice," offers immediate insight into the thematic leanings of the 14-track project.
The unpretentious grooves of roots reggae are appealing to perform, but hard to deliver with a sense of authenticity. In that respect, Weekes & Adowa are on point, mining the progressive chords and arrangement while maintaining a reverent feel. Love Herb & Reggae tackle the usual suspects: Babylon gets its rightful condemnation on "Giant Beast," the call to overcome oppression rings loudly on "Rebels to the Street" and its Nyabinghi rhythms make an anthem like title track "Love Herb & Reggae" self-explanatory. But it's the socially progressive stand, on issues such as ending homophobia ("Here I Stand") — "Be kind to love…divine is love" — that mark the album with modernity. The album's plea for more love in the world is simple yet profound. (VP Records)