Free To Move
This originally ran in Reggae Report in 1996.
Since its fruitful relationship with Ras Records commenced in 1988, Israel
Vibration has continued to produce records of the highest caliber, due in large
part to its unique, winning formula. For starters, each disc has contained the
superb musicianship of the incomparable Roots Radics, but more importantly,
each release has continued to have an equal distribution of compositions from
each of the three members, Lacelle "Wiss" Bulgin, Albert "Apple" Craig and
Cecil "Skelly" Spence.
Think about it for a moment. Instead of things getting stale because of a
songwriter's inability in composing quality songs over an entire album, Israel
Vibration has three extremely talented - and I mean EXTREMELY talented -
singer/songwriters who are only asked to deliver three or (since last year's "On
The Rock") four songs to each release.
Wiss, Apple and Skelly thus get to fine-tune their creations with the
results once again being outstanding. It's hard to believe this group could
surpass its last release, but it truly has. Beginning with Wiss and his track
"Terrorist," 'Free To Move' is the best album of the year, hands down; a 55
minute tour de force of modern roots reggae guaranteed to blow you away.
Each of the 12 tracks contain righteous lyrics, sincere vocals, trademark
harmonies and relentless, offbeat rhythms. Even with the plethora of strong
songs, the two absolute standouts are “Mud Up” and “Livity In The Hood.”
With "Free To Move" (a reference to the trio after its long-standing
problems with immigration), Israel Vibration proves beyond a doubt that it
remains one of the world's greatest reggae groups, and with the year 2000 right
around the corner, it's obvious that The Vibes are taking modern roots - with a
vengeance - into the 21st century.
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