Album-Review: Bunny Rugs - Time
Bunny Rugs of Third World releases a well-produced set on his Raw Edge Productions imprint distributed by VPAL, the new associated independent label arm of VP Records. The set opens with an ode to monogamy on Just Can't Deny. A reminder that being with one person can be quite powerful he chases away the naysayers through lyrics like, "Anyone who disagrees with me doesn't know about love's electricity"…..and "Hearts are not made of stone so I am ready to give all that I have got to you."
Romantic love is a recurring theme throughout the set as on the song Heaven Sent -Dat Feelin'. Saxophone maestro Dean Fraser's tones are threaded throughout the tune and continue throughout the release. Overall the vibe of the record has that classic reggae, pre-dancehall and hip hop era. Like the easy life in Jamaica when you are on the beach in the afternoon grooving to some fine radio program or mix.
Jah and the power of prayer, the quest to reach Mount Zion, and the way to deflect the wicked, the place you find yourself when you are in the wilderness, the need to put all of the doubts and fears away, these are all used to make the case on Neva Gonna Give Up, to hold the faith.
A serious tone is taken on Kurfew which is co-written by Mikie Bennet and Richard "Bello" Bell of Star Trail fame who wrote lyrics on seven of the songs on this 15 track album. The imagery is here of people living under curfew with fear and concern for their safety, their children's whereabouts in relation to angry soldiers on the corner. On Solutions, a ballad that sings from a Christian female perspective in Jamaica, curfew and shooting are again mentioned as just some of the concerns she has, she needs solutions, answers to the questions that plague her night and day….."
The theme of the album, time is addressed on It's Time with its rich background vocals, that fortify the singer's first person message that its time to move with joy and laughter, cause each day we live and we learn. This one finds Rug's voice processed through autotune at certain points, in a nod to the changing times.
"So many search and never find the true meaning of love, that burns hot like fire"….on We've Got The Formula Bunny's distinct vibrato tone is carried on another ballad that sings about the triumph of romantic love.
As part of the all-star cast of producers, engineers and players of instruments, Sly & Robbie developed Love Is Blind, a playful rant about a runaround woman. What Kinda Man was mixed by the incomparable Stephen Stanley has has a wistful lovers groove with Bunny Rugs explaining how much he misses his girl in his furtive, insistent first person vocal style.
Irie-FM radio personality Elise Kelly gets in the production arena with Don't Give Up co-produced by Richard "Bello" Bell and recorded at both Mixing Lab and Grafton Studios by Dean Pond. This one makes an important statement about staying focused and keeping on track despite, "so many pirates that want to throw you overboard." It reminds that even "when you get from all your sweat is gross neglect and disrespect", don't give up since it has never been easy.
Also present are Augustus "Gussie" Clarke, Delroy Pottinger as some of the all-star cast that contributed to this and many great productions through the years. Dean Fraser's sax carries us in to the final tune Rugs' ode to Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence, Land We Love-Jamaica, a tribute to the irie vibe, the people, Jamaica's #1 athletes, its prophets and of course, its musicians.
Bunny Rugs - Time
DIGITAL RELEASE [VPAL]
Release date: 9/11/2012
01. Just Can’t Deny
02. Heaven Sent – Dat Feelin’
03. You’re My Everything
04. Neva Gonna Give Up
06. It’s Time
07. We’ve Got The Formula
08. Settling Down
10. Thinking Bout You
11. Love Is Blind
12. What Kinda Man
13. Bed Of Roses
14. Don’t Give up
15. Land We Love: Jamaica