Album Review: Perfect Giddimani - Live My Life Again
by Gardy Stein
Are you serious? This is supposed to be Perfect Giddimani's final album? To be honest, the press release saying so gave me a shock. The title of this "final album" is Live My Life Again, which may be interpreted as the understandable wish to return to a normal life away from stages, studios and stardom. But what life is Reggae without this extraordinary artist?
On the up side, talking about a final album doesn't mean that the performer will deprive us of his energetic stage-shows, and also, we do have a stock of ten albums and countless singles to provide for a few Perfect-free months (or even years), a number to which is added this brand-new release. The 17-track-affair has been recorded and produced during three months only by Greg "Giddimani" Rose himself and Sam Gilly in Austria, France, California and Miami. As with former productions, the House Of Riddim band and friends played an essential part in providing the immaculate riddims, so big up Sam Gilly, Tom Bennecke, Herb Pirker, Johannes Maria Knoll, Parvez Syed, Christoph Richter, Manfred Scheer, Hannes Kerschner, Claus Teufel, Franz Polak and Rudi Ohnesorge!
The result of their diligent work and Perfect's skillz is a formidable mix of styles and messages. In traditional Reggae manner, the issue of repatriation is broached in Bucket List (which is introduced by words from Brother Moody of the Ethiopian World Federation) and Born African. Likewise, Rasta-related themes are unfolded in the joyful Breadback, an argumentation aiming at cops and judges concerning the sacramental use of Ganja, and the equally uplifting Irene Mama Rose, an ode to Giddimani's "mama that never grows old".
While Time Will Tell and Love Addict are within the Reggae-zone as well, other tracks reach beyond the genre. Thus, World Boss Selassie (no, the song has nothing at all to do with Kartel!) starts with a very Reggae-unusual instrumental solo that turns out to be a Dobro, a resonator guitar often used in American Country and Bluegrass music. Expanding both mind and genre, the beautiful acapella Freedom was recorded with a female vocal trio from Angola called Kumossi.
Staying in Africa, our attention is drawn to one of the continent's urban ghettos. While almost everyone has heard about the "South Western Townships" of Johannesburg, Soweto in short, I am not aware of any mention of the Kenyan slum of Kibera in Jamaican music so far. Kibera Kid does exactly that, telling us what life is like in Nairobi's dire ghetto. A further dedication to this place is the goose-bumps-inducing Lost Somebody, which comes on the Kenyakibera riddim. Check out the riddim release for this one, which includes many fine versions by the likes of Lutan Fyah, Menny More and Teacha Dee. The latter has found his way to the album's features with Positive Energy, an honour shared with colleagues Anthony B in Live It Up and Lutan Fyah in A Baby.
This leaves the title track, which brings my interpretation mentioned above to naught, as Perfect rather asks himself what he would do if he could Live My Life Again. Hopefully, the answer to that question has music in it, as we need outspoken artists like him who are not afraid to confront us with uncomfortable and delicate subjects, as he and Steven Dajure did already last year with Dollnald Trump. Keep up the good works, Mr. Perfect!
Perfect Giddimani - Live My Life Again
DIGITAL RELEASE [House of Riddim Productions]
Release date: 07/07/2017
01. Bucket List
02. Live It Up feat. Anthony B
04. A Baby feat. Lutan Fyah
05. Irene Mama Rose
06. World Boss Selassie
07. Positive Energy feat. Teacha Dee
08. Kibera Kid
09. Lost Somebody
10. Freedom feat. Kumossi
11. Born African
12. Dollnald Trump feat. Stephen Dajure