Album Review: Lyricson - Revolution Time Again
Chances are high that you have already heard from Lyricson before. Within the last ten to fifteen years of his career, several of his features have made it into the dance halls of Europe and probably beyond. He’s that impelling character in Dub Inc’s 2005 hit Monnaie, and it was him who chanted Manu Chao’s famous tribute to Bob Marley Mr Bobby from several stages in France, where they toured together for a couple of concerts in 2002. Also, if you’ve followed Dancehall music within the recent years, you may have come across this artist somehow or other. His features with Popcaan (War Done) and Gappy Ranks (No Friend From Dem) had directed quite some attention to his 2015 dancehall album Year Of The Don. Networking is everything within the reggae business, so these combinations did a great job for Lyricson within the last years. Therefore, it is not surprising that we find names like Luciano and Vaughn Benjamin on his new album Revolution Time Again.
Still a child, the Liberia-born Souleymane Boukaka was forced to flee from his home country to the US. After encountering Rastafari there, his musical journey led him to Jamaica and other places within the Caribbean.
With an accent and intonation that make him sound like born and raised in Jamaica, Lyricson opens his now seventh studio album uttering a determined address to the listener while his words are being supported by a powerful rock-like playback, which eventually leads to the equally driving Revolution Time Again. Picking up the spirit of revolution in this way, Lyricson rides on an organic reggae riddim, spitting sometimes more, sometimes less common “reggae phrases,” before Benjamin comes in to deliver a poetic verse for the protection and rebuilding of Africa. No Trust In Them is an anti-politician anthem with feature guest Aaron Silk, who with his silky voice paints a colorful and rich-in-contrast picture along with Lyricson’s more rough and intrusive voice. Luciano and Takana Zion support the youthful and energetic singer on Tell Me Why, a marching reggae anthem, with an interesting riddim arrangement.
Songs like Burning and Bounce Back, are real hand wavers which makes you want to turn up the volume, or – even better – see a live performance of Lyricson. Speaking of which, the riddims on the album have a homogeneous live-band sound with a touch of garage, which however, is more charming than reducing in quality.
All in all, the music on this thirteen-track Long Player has an urban roots flair and experiments with different musical elements from funk, to gospel, soul, and rock. Some songs, like the Africa- and Nyabhingi-inspired If We Try, or Open your Eyes feat. Soul Bang’s have a rather mellow mood, while others like Babylon Face feat. Ilemens show a more propulsive and aggressive attitude.
With Revolution Time Again, Lyricson and his band present an innovative and energetic modern roots album, with an international spirit and unmistakable features. Sometimes nervous and restless, sometimes peaceful and calming, this one is definitely worth a listen.
Lyricson - Revolution Time Again
DIGITAL RELEASE / CD [Digital Cut/Undisputed Records]
Release date: 02/10/2017
02. Revolution Time Again feat. Vaughn Benjamin
04. No Trust In Them feat. Aaron Silk
05. Jah Never Failed I Yet
06. Watcha Gonna Do
08. Babylon Face feat. Ilements
09. If We Try
11. Tell Me Why feat. Luciano & Takana Zion
12. Bounce Back
13. Open Up Your Eyes feat. Soul Bang's