This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1993.
With the release of "IV," Israel Vibration's fourth
studio album for RAS records, this legendary vocal group
solidifies its position as one of reggae's all-time greats.
Formed in the late 70's, this critically-acclaimed trio
disbanded in 1982 after recording some of the finest music
to ever come from Jamaica. After a six year hiatus, RAS
persuaded the group to reform and the rest, as they say, is
Israel Vibration's music has always been top-notch and
this disc is no exception. With relentless rhythms,
emotional vocals and irresistable hooks, the nine tracks on
"IV," opening with "You Never Know" and including such
tracks as "Falling Angels," "Hard Times" and "Babylon By
Bus," are essential.
The members - Wiss, Apple and Skelly - are accomplished
writers and once again address conscious and spiritual
themes. Their custom since "Strength Of My Life" in 1988,
with songs in order by Wiss, Apple, then Skelly, is also
intact (yet for some reason the last song by Wiss and Apple
on this release was switched). Regardless, the group's
unique trademark vocals mesh perfectly while the backing of
the Roots Radics sounds as hot as ever.
Although each member was afflicted with polio as a
youth, it has not stopped them from creating some of the
most uplifting and righteous music ever. From the
interesting cover to the well-done booklet (with liner notes
and lyrics), this is an extremely powerful and sincere
package from one of reggae's most important groups.
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