When you think of reggae what pops up in your head? I can almost be 100% sure that Bob Marley is the first thing that pops up in your head when you think reggae, either that or drugs. Bob Marley was the most popular reggae artist of all time, there is no arguing with that. Everyone who listens to reggae knows who Bob Marley is, for that matter just about anyone who listens to music knows who Marley is. Bob Marley is a legend, and the greatest reggae artist of all time.
David Marley is Bobs oldest son. Nicknamed Ziggy after David Bowies classic album released in the early 70's. If Bob Marley is so recognized in the reggae world of music than why isn't Ziggy. Ziggy was born in Jamaica, and he is Bob's first child. That being said his music is obviously influenced by reggae. Just think about fusing together Bob Marley and David Bowie's music together. That would be awesome, but unfortunately Ziggy doesn't provide us with that. Surprisingly this album is not straight up reggae. While Ziggy's music has a reggae base he adds in different styles of music to create a reggae fusion blending in slight influences os soul, ska, funk, jazz, and most noticabely dub. This works very well because Ziggy can pull it off. Smooth reggae guitar riffs, dub effects, and Ziggy's smooth voice brings everything together. When you listen to this you will know it is reggae but some of the minor influences of ska and soul music are also easy to detect.
Dragonfly is smooth and mellow. When you listen to this album you will feel like you are laying on a beach in Jamaica. Ziggy's voice is definately a highlite. His vocal delivery is very soothing and layed back it is almost like he is whispering in your ear. With the light guitar riff in the backround Ziggy makes his music more colorful by adding in some extra instruments. Trumpets and pianos are used in the upbeat Rainbow In The Sky. Other instruments include drums, which are used to provide a very simple but effective rythm section. Dub effects are used on nearly half of these songs, they create a more free feel and the dub effects definately give this album a more reggae feel.
Dragonfly is an upbeat reggae cd. Some might even refer to this as funky reggae, but it's not that funky. Ziggy basically borrows different styles of music from soul, and ska. He fuses them together with reggae music to create soft, mellow, reggae songs with some spice. Back to my question I asked back in my first paragraph. If Bob Marley was so popular, than why isn't Ziggy that noticed? There are some obvious reasons. While Dragonfly is a great album there are some downsides. There are no real standout tracks, this album can be bland at times both lyrically and musically. Even though Ziggy keeps things interesting the reggae music doesn't stand well on it's own and sometimes when Ziggy tries to be inventive things just don't work out. Melancholy Mood is a perfect example
. Dragonfly is an upbeat album, but this song is soft and melancholy as the title suggests. There arn't many downsides but there really isn't anything mindblowing about Dragonfly that doesn't make it a cut above many other reggae albums.
Overall I would say that this is a solid reggae album. This is nothing amazing, unlike Bob Marley's albums. Although this isn't anything amzing it is a great album and Ziggy Marley deserves more credit than what he is getting. This is a creative reggae album, Ziggy uses his resources quite well. Blending together ska influenced horn riffs, soul backing vocals and some upbeat guitar riffs Dragonfly is very effective. If you want some good solid reggae music I wouldn't start here. I would try checking out a Bob Marley or a Peter Tosh record. If you are already a reggae fan than you should give this album a shot. Ziggy Marley is a very talented reggae artist that is overlooked and very underated. Dragonfly is an upbeat, colorful, and a happy album that should be enjoyed by any fan of ska, soul, and reggae music.
Overall Rating : 3.5/5
Pros: Upbeat // Ska & Soul Influences // Vocals
Cons: Sometimes Ziggy is experimental and it doesn't work // No Stand out tracks
Recommended Tracks :True To Myself // Rainbow In The Sky // Good Ol' Days