Ziggy Marley Love is My Religion

This follow-up to 2003’s solo debut Dragonfly sees Bob Marley’s firstborn firmly entrenched in the mainstream mindset based on his pop-friendly persona and singing the theme song to a popular kid’s show. So that’s probably why Love is My Religion couldn’t be more non-threatening if it tried. Unlike the PG-13 lyrics of younger brother and alt-media darling Damien, Love is My Religion is a strictly G-rated affair. Ziggy’s melodies and production are tight as usual, but to say the songwriting is thin is being generous. The title track’s engaging "One Love” significance is thwarted by trifling lyrics ("I don’t want to fight/let’s go fly a kite”) that undermine the laudable message. And I’m curious to know why he would pen a tune extolling the virtues of a "Beach in Hawaii” being a native of Jamaica. But I can’t knock Ziggy too hard — the reggae rhythms are tight (i.e. "Make Some Music” and "Be Free”) and the album’s best joint ("A Lifetime”) is one that sounds like Bob himself. Now if Ziggy made an album chockfull with tracks sounding like that one, he’d have a classic on his hands. As it stands Love is My Religion is good but doesn’t approach masterpiece status. (Tuff Gong)