Yabby You Deliver Me From My Enemies

Seventies reggae is the holy grail for many roots fans and this reissue of producer/singer Vivian "Yabby You” Jackson’s classic 1977 album is packed with exquisite examples of the kind of production and grooves that defined the era. Natty-themed tracks such as "Zion Gate,” "And Amlak” and "Judgement Time” deliver patented righteous lyrics and powerful arrangements. Often referred to as the final instalment in a trinity of albums that includes Conquering Lion and Walls of Jerusalem, Deliver Me sees Jackson occasionally experimenting outside of his normally contemplative and spiritual musings with a few love songs — unusual for the "Jesus Dread” —and is sometimes maligned for it. "Lonely Me,” which could pass for an upbeat version of "Stir it Up,” adds a new secular dimension to the artist and Jackson’s playful singing turns out to be a welcome departure. John Holt’s "Stranger in Love,” however, feels misplaced on this album, perhaps due to its oldies feel and overly syrupy lyrics. Where this album excels, though, is with the addition of seven bonus twelve-inch mixes and dubs. The most notable of these is the Prince Jammy produced "Pick the Beam.” For those who only know Jammy’s later work as Kingston’s digital king, this dub will come as an organic surprise, as Jammy seems to do everything possible to impress upon his listener that he is King Tubby’s most gifted protégé. (Blood and Fire)