EP Review: Rapha Pico - Get Ready
There are many inherent things in Rapha Pico which a Reggae artiste needs in order to capture an audience. Descending from a family with a rich musical heritage, the Amsterdam based newcomer shows consciousness, spirit and musicality on his new and second EP Get Ready.
On Get Ready, the singer follows a continuous style of modern Roots Reggae, which neither in instrumental terms, nor in terms of vocals and lyrics is particularly inventive; but hey, who says every Reggae artiste must also reinvent the wheel!? Almost as if he wanted to emphasize his authenticity, all the songs were mixed in Jamaica; two of the five tracks (Give Me the Strength and Cool and Calm) at Tuff Gong Studios, and the remaining three (You Alone, Get Ready and Bun Di Fyah) at Big Yard Studios in Kingston, JA.
The EP opens with its only love song You Alone, which comes in in a Rub a Dub style, with a very static high hat and some digital dub effects, which both are defining features of this style of reggae.
As mentioned above, there’s nothing particularly new to Rapha Pico’s singing style or mode of expression, however, he somehow still manages to fascinate his listeners through his clean message. He delivers in a humble mode rather than, as far too often in Reggae music, a preaching mode. There’s already too many artists out there who throw around with empty phrases just because of their lack of creativity or eloquence.
Not with this Reggae artiste! The lyrics are pleasing to the ear and wrapped into melodies which are simple, yet far from profane. Give Me the Strength, for example, has a prayerful tone delivered on a strong One Drop riddim. It must be said however, that the monotonous synth hook which pervades the whole song is a matter of taste. The EP’s title track starts with some airy, bell-like pads on a riddim part, gathered by a nice Spanish guitar lick which merges into a catchy refrain on a marching rock-reggae beat.
Bun Di Fyah, is a real earworm on a heavy one drop, and therefore wins this category, at least for this release with its catchy chorus: "We haffi bun di fyah, di fyah pon all wicked man / a lala-long time dem do InI wrong / so never forget where you’re coming from / Jah soldiers, take your position."
Almost like a mission statement, the last song Cool and Calm, in a strong, yet humble spirit, makes clear once and for all that the reggae music of Rapha Pico is a serious ting, and as the title of this release suggests, Get Ready might just be an early warning for more serious music to come.
Rapha Pico - Get Ready
DIGITAL RELEASE [Rapha Pico]
Release date: 03/25/2016
01. You Alone
02. Give Me The Strength
03. Get Ready
04. Bun Di Fyah
05. Cool & Calm