WordSound&Power

Price: $4.24
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Manufacturer Description

Christian reggae isn't really new -- Yabby You has been styling himself "the Jesus Dread" since the early '70s, and gospel reggae has been growing in popularity since the '90s -- but when you hear Christian doctrine expounded in a reggae song it's usually expressed within the context of Rastafarianism (many of whose adherents believe that the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie was the modern incarnation of Jesus Christ). Mark Mohr, who performs with his wife and a shifting number of side musicians as Christafari, turns that usual formula on its head by using reggae rhythms, an assumed Jamaican accent, and Rastafarian imagery to promote an explicitly Christian message. That he's so successful has less to do with his lyrics, which are generally predictable and not especially noteworthy, than with his admirable abilities as a melodist and producer. The Christafari sound is clean but rootsy, traditional and modern at the same time. On songs like "Blood and Fire" and the horn-driven "Intentions," Mohr creates an old-fashioned groove that any fan of classic roots reggae will love; on "Food for the Hungry" he appropriates the "Cherry Oh Baby" rhythm and turns it into a sufferer's anthem. The whole album maintains roughly that same level of quality -- and it's a long one. Highly recommended. [A dub version was released under the title Dubsound & Power, and a Spanish version came out as Palabra Sonido y Poder.] ~ Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

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