Toots & The Maytals
Funky Kingston


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
August 16th, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Equally suitable for beginners or experienced listeners, Funky Kingston is a brilliant reggae album that everyone should listen at least once.

It might seem stereotypical but I really don’t mind; when I listen to reggae I think of palm trees, high temperatures, the ocean, slow rhythms and myself in a state of complete relaxation and euphoria. That doesn’t mean that reggae is all about relaxation; it can be deep and introspective or carry strong revolutionary messages and disperse them with outmost efficiency to folks like myself. Granted, when it comes to reggae I’m nearly scratching the surface of the genre. As with most people, I began by listening to Bob Marley and the Wailers and my knowledge is limited to a mere 25-30 artists. Nonetheless, when an album is as qualitative as the one under review, it really doesn’t matter how familiar is one with reggae.

Funky Kingston is one of the most uplifting albums you’ll ever hear so do yourself a favor and put aside for a moment your doom, folk, prog, or whatever music you use for introspection and give this one a chance before the end of summer. However, don’t be mistaken because Funky Kingston is not all sun and lying on a hammock. This is a well rounded reggae album having numerous soulful moments and even includes two covers of rhythm and blues songs. In addition, there’s a reggae version of the well known “Louie Louie”. In all honesty, there’s nothing not to like about this album even if one is a superficial reggae fan (like myself). Funky Kingston can be a very suitable album for those who wish to get into the genre. One of the strengths of the album is the solid rhythm section that builds a solid platform on which Toots tells his stories.

A lot of the charm of this album though has to do with Frederick "Toots" Hibbert’s deep and soulful voice. Although he might not be characterized as a great singer “technically”, he is certainly gifted and sounds sincere; he has no trouble getting the message through and that’s all that matters. He’s not talking about spirituality in a Rastafarian manner but more about everyday life situations and struggles. The songwriting on here is on a very high level and the instrumentation is impeccable. In addition, the production is excellent and Funky Kingston certainly sounds much better than early reggae albums that sounded as if they were recorded with the use of a single mic in the bottom of a well.

Funky Kingston was released twice in 1972 (Jamaica) and 1975 as it went on to become a big success in the US market. The quality of the album was such that lead it to international success and positioned it on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. So do yourself a favor and forget your everyday problems by giving this album a listen.



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user ratings (57)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2014


7551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Summertime is reggae time so give this one a listen.



Full album here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Funky+Kingston/447909



Your comments are appreciated.

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JohnnyOnTheSpot
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2014


3024 Comments


Good review, though I personally dislike when people use chart positions as justification but oh well.
Never gave this guy a fair shot so maybe I will

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manosg
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2014


7551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just a mere fact of the album's success rather than justification but thanks.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2014


4184 Comments


Nice to see you back up and reviewing, man. Pos'd.

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danielcardoso
August 16th 2014


3162 Comments


Reggae, alright! I think that I only listened to one song from Toots & Maytals in my whole life, it was Pressure Drop. I found that song through Izzy Stradlin's first solo album, where he covered that track. It got me curious, and I loved that chilled out vibe of that song. Good review as always, pos'd from me.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2014


7551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@EO

Thanks bud.



@daniel

Thanks dude. One more reason why Izzy is the man ;)

danielcardoso
August 16th 2014


3162 Comments


Yeah, Izzy rocks. Check this song out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyABkHcViBE

A bit long, but it has a cool relaxed vibe, see if you dig it.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2014


7551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it's a nice song. Izzy's a laid back dude and I think that was the reason he left GnR. He didn't want to be a part of the rock and roll circus that the band was at the time.

danielcardoso
August 16th 2014


3162 Comments


Yeah, I think that too. He's always been a very reserved guy, and he knew when to step away from Guns N' Roses, he was putting his life at risk. He's got some pretty cool stuff solo, it's a bit rockabilly, a bit reggae, a bit country, a little bit of everything. It's nothing all that special, but it's laidback and fun.

deslad
August 16th 2014


445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As I am one of those people who tend to connect the sound of reggae with summertime, I will listen to it as soon as possble. Excellent review again man, pos.



"...my knowledge is limited to a mere 25-30 artists": haha, I am not sure if I know more that 5-10 reggae artists, so your number is not so "mere" I'd say.

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manosg
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2014


7551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@daniel

Agreed. I respect the guy because even though his presence was very important for GnR he kept his ego low.



@deslad

haha, thanks a lot, you're too kind. Hope you enjoy the album.

DrJohn
August 19th 2014


603 Comments


Good choice for a review, have a l8 pos.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
August 20th 2014


7551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. I hope more peeps check this album as it has a serious summer vibe.

deslad
August 20th 2014


445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just listened to this and it is such a great album. It definitely needs more love.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 20th 2014


20446 Comments


forget your everyday problems by giving this album a listen


i just may have to do this ;) cool review man

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manosg
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2014


7551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@deslad

Glad you enjoyed the album!



@Atari

Thanks dude. This album has a really laid back vibe, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

ExcentrifugalForz
January 7th 2015


2125 Comments


great album

has infinite replayability



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