Review Summary: A masterpiece of Jazz/Reggae jamming from the beginning to the end.
Groundation has been around for a while now, and have been known to bring an amazing show when playing live. I've actually seen them once in November 2011 and it is truly amazing! I've been into them since last year after listening to their 2001 Each One Teach One LP. First time I heard of Building an Ark was actually after their concert, announcing it was going to be out in March 2012. I was so excited when I first listened to it that I feared I would be disappointed, thinking it would be better than their last one. But I wasn't!
Building An Ark starts off with a rather acoustic, and low song where Harrison Stafford gives a great singing performance. This is the song that will tell you that they still got it. And if you're still asking yourself if they're still reggae, Humility is there to reassure you. Their roots reggae is still perfect, and Stafford still gives you those perfectly timed singing and Dub sounds that he is known for. They kept their mystic atmosphere they had since their beginning and brought even more Jazz to their compositions, sometimes having entire part of their song being a Jazz jam.
Something very enjoyable in this album is the fact that everyone gets a shot in the spotlight. Backup singers are actually singing in Payaka Way, bass is very well heard, piano solos, trumpets, guitar solo, everything is there, like a huge Reggae/Jazz jam. I've already talked about Stafford's singing ability, but he is actually one of the highlight of this album. He has an incredible voice that you can sometimes mistake for Bob Marley. Some people would kill me for saying this, but this actually one of the best reggae band since The Wailers, musically and live.
I can't find anything I dislike in this album, and I've listened to it a lot of times since it's been out! Everything I've been saying earlier is there from the beginning to the end. This is truly a masterpiece!
If some of you still think Reggae is nothing musically, just an easy four notes song with the One Drop rhythm, listen to this LP and tell me if this is what you thought reggae was. Recommended songs: Building An Ark, Humility, Be That Way, Payaka Way, Daniel, The Dreamer
Groundation were for this album:
Harrison Stafford: Vocals, Guitar, Percussions
Marcus Urani: Piano, B3, Rhodes, Keyboards, Melodica
"Iron" Ryan Newman: Bass
Te Kanawa "Rufus" Haereiti: Drums
Mingo Lewis Junior: Congas & Timbals
David "Diesel" Chachere: Trumpet
Kelsey Howard: Trombone
Kim Pommell: Chorus
Kerry-Ann Morgan: Chorus