Ziggy Marley Love is My Religion

If 2003’s Dragonfly marked a daring and fresh trajectory for Ziggy, Love is My Religion is somewhat a stagnation of that new vision. Besides returning to a mostly reggae-centric sound with all its trappings of Marley lineage comparisons, Love is My Religion partially reneges on Dragonfly’s promise that as an artist Ziggy had finally come into his own by marking out his own individual territory. This is not to say Love is a weak album — musically the arrangements and production are top shelf new roots; Ziggy has always had the ability to create pop roots music that doesn’t end up sounding brash and tasteless like so many cross-over projects. "Beach in a Hawaii,” despite its over-obvious lyric (a complaint throughout) and "Into the Groove” are the most interesting here, each an example of how to pop-ify the roots sound. But too many songs are just plain dull with very little to offer the listener the second and third time around. The sense of exploration that surrounded Dragonfly is all but gone. Let’s hope Ziggy gets it back for the next album. (Tuff Gong)