In early 1998, I was turned on to Nasio Fontaine’s excellent debut, “Reggae Power,” and quickly realized that this was a very special talent. Since then, I’ve anxiously waited for his next release. Well, “Revolution” is here, and let me tell you, it is one wicked disc.
Right from the cover art, where the name “Nasio” is in the shape of a key and the lock is your mind, it’s obvious that he has some serious things to say (and the title is not about guns and bombs, he says, but of spirituality).
The CD contains one dozen tracks and 51 1/2 minutes of the catchiest reggae you’ll ever hear. If your style is Steel Pulse, Mystic Revealers or the King of ‘em all - Bob Marley - Nasio Fontaine is right up your alley.
The sound is crisp, clean and very uplifting and powerful. Nasio’s father passed away at the onset of these recordings and he told me that he had a lot of emotions and personal feelings to unleash.
The song order also has a great flow, with each track - and each style - smoothly moving into the next one, making this a truly brilliant recording.
Things kick off with the slow, righteous “Jah Glory,” then picks up steam with “Truth Will Reveal” (both songs were on a pre-released “mini” CD). From there it’s just unreal! “Turn Your Hate Around” will totally knock you out. It begins with 35 beautiful seconds of piano and wailing guitar and it’s like “Nasio, what is this?!” Then it just rocks out, with some of the best and most righteous lyrics ever. “The countenance of one man brighten up another” is one of the best lines I’ve ever heard.
“Apple” is next, hitting hard in a heavy roots style. This is one wicked track! Nasio’s vocals (as they are on every track) are extremely passionate. Especially check out his delivery at the end. Classic.
From there, it’s eight more killers. “My Defense” is pure pop reggae - just unbelievably catchy. Then “side one” closes with an excellent nyabinghi track, “Ras Tafari.”
“Side two” is hard-core, starting off with the wicked “Black Tuesday.” In it, Nasio pleads to all (over another incredibly catchy rhythm) to remember the Dread Act (when they shot and killed Rastas on sight in Dominica in the late ‘70s). This one is as righteous as it gets.
From there, the next four tracks rock as hard in a rootical style as you’ll ever hear. Just a wicked flow, with one being more powerful than the last. “Ahome And Abroad,” “Revolution Souljah,” “Rainbow Generation” and “Bondage” will uplift you in a way that’s hard to fathom. Once again, just wicked lyrics put to wicked beats (and this time with a couple of sax solos thrown in).
At the end of “Bondage,” Nasio somehow turns gears and slows things down, mixing in Zulu singers to make a perfect segue into the closing nyabinghi track, “Trodd A ithiopia.” It’s a perfect ending to a perfect CD. Nasio obviously poured his heart and soul into this release.
Each of the 12 tracks - and I mean each and every one - consists of outstanding rhythms, gorgeous female harmonies, tight musicianship (check out the organ lines throughout!) conscious, poetic lyrics and above all, Nasio’s heartfelt, passionate vocals.
In an interview I had with Nasio last year, he had this to say about “Revolution.”
“...if you love “Reggae Power” and “Wolf Catcher” [his 1997 CD single], when you hear the new album, you’re just gonna be screaming out loud!...I feel the vocals grow, the lyrics grow, the musical ability grow. I am very critical of my music, so it says something when I can not wait to present it to the Earth.”
Well, I’ve been “screaming out loud” since its release date, April 6th. This is one wicked CD, GUARANTEED to blow you away. Check it out and get ready to be “revolutionized!”
To check out my review of "Living In The Positive"... LIVING IN THE POSITIVE.
To check out my review of "Universal Cry"... UNIVERSAL CRY
To check out my feature article on Nasio in the BEAT... ARTICLE
To listen to my interview with Nasio (you must have Real Player)...RADIO INTERVIEW
To check out some pictures from my trip to Dominica... PICS