As a devout Rastafarian, Luciano bears his spiritual obligations with the utmost resolution - that much is clear on his latest release, Deliverance: Mad Professor Dub Showcase.
The album - as its title might suggest – appears to bear a divine message that seeks to offer the hope of righteous redemption while lamenting mankind’s apparent moral deterioration. The title track heralds salvation as the reggae crooner sings with soulful conviction “deliverance has come, come, come”; in what form is unclear, but the album itself could be seen as musical liberation from the trifles of pop culture and the mainstream music scene.
Luciano isn’t alone in this conscious rebuttal however. A troop of young reggae artists are leading what they call a roots reggae revival and the movement has already taken off on the international stage. Other veterans have also sought to preserve and further propagate the roots reggae sound through their latest works.
Deliverance also delivers some groovy lovers-rock tracks, Luciano style. Carol Thompson joins Luciano for “Ready to Learn” and the two give a performance that is reminiscent of reggae’s golden era. Thompson’s velvet lined pipes along with the backing vocals add something of refined quality to the track’s authentic reggae sound and attempts to lend the album some semblance of diversity.
Luciano also collaborates with Guyanese dup producer, Mad Professor, who lends his technical skills to the album, giving it a digital edge with his dub mastery.
The album is compiled in such a way that each track is accompanied by its own dub instrumental. For instance “Ready to Learn” is followed by “Ready to Dub” where Mad Professor takes the underlying rhythm of the original track, pulls it apart, and recreates it with some dub inflections.
This kind of ingenuity is another reason why the roots reggae revival movement has been gaining so much traction. As much as the musicians try to preserve the original sound – and they do – they also manage to add a lick of creativity and originality that is both refreshing and important for the development of the genre.
The album is by no means groundbreaking however. Even with the attempt at originality the music still bears an expectant familiarity and captures one of reggae’s most prolific luminaries in a sonic setting that he has long mastered. Nonetheless there is no shortage of good music on the album and its quality is exceptional.
both old and new, are sure to find something worthwhile on Luciano’s latest