This brilliant disc contains eleven tunes and just over 46 1/2 minutes of some of the most
crucial roots reggae to ever be created. This is incredibly well-crafted music, with conscious lyrics, beautiful female harmonies and one of the best and most soulful singers of our time, Nasio Fontaine.
"Living In The Positive" kicks off with the title track, a scorcher which starts with a great regal horn intro, courtesy of Steel Pulse's original horn section (in fact, the horns are all over this CD, adding a great dimension to Nasio's sound). He's truly never sounded better and his lyrics - as usual - are concise and uplifting.
"We living in the positive
and I know good will conquer evil
Jah is here amidst the battle
and I know love will conquer hatred
Oh children let not your hearts be troubled
wipe away your tears and fears
Cause I know love will conquer evil, yeah!"
-"Living In The Positive"
The second track, the incredibly strong "African Spirit," is a slow, choppy
tune which is musically reminiscent of his classic tune, "Apple" from "Revolution."
Things then move on to the excellent modern roots of "Herb And Loving," "Dangerous"
and "Black And Comely."
Check out Nasio's message in "Dangerous," straight to Babylon's head:
"Making promises, yeah!
That they can't keep and them never will
I see so much innocent
paying for the guilty
But the blind is a victim
In the land of the evil-sighted
Yeah! Where there is no vision
Man, the people suffer
See them cornered by their judgements
And they're consumed yes
By their hatred Aye!
They fighting to control our destiny
But we fighting for our justice and equality
So many rights
They turned to wrong
Because of the laws of their society..."
"New Song" is next, another brilliant, uplifting tune:
"Journey is tough, the road is steep
and there's no rest for weary feet
Yet here comes another stumbling block
Greater than the one before...
Come down to the rivers
Lay down your burdens
Walk away and singing a new song."
- "New Song"
"Where We Belong" is track number seven and mixes in some African ancestral callings with Nasio's modern roots sound. Brilliant. The following three tunes, "No Love," "Ithiopia" and "Riding On" are as good as it gets. Lyrics, vibes, everything. Just pure, crucial Nasio Fontaine.
The CD ends with a tune which was recorded after the original sessions were
over. "Rise Up" is a rock-tinged classic, a call-to-arms for all oppressed the
world over. When Nasio finishes by saying "Yeah, and the people rebel. Ras Tafari
Live," it's a perfect ending to an absolutely perfect creation.
Nasio's music can now be found on the Higher Love Music label out of St. Maarten. This disc was recorded at Valhella Studio in New York and was self-produced by Nasio. The studio musicians lay down some tight grooves and Nasio even lovingly uses his late Mother's voice on the intro to "Riding On."
Nasio Fontaine remains one of reggae's greatest and most uplifting artists. Although he's been under the radar screen for awhile, he's back with a vengeance. "Living In The Positive" could easily land him album of the year honors. Do yourself a favor and check this one it. It'll blow you away.
To check out some pictures from my trip to Dominica... PICS