Monday, July 12, 2010

Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers: Feel like We Want 2 B (1996)

(As published in the Illinois Entertainer ... )

Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers
Feel like We Want 2 B

You won’t find many folks, even among his core audience, claiming that Ziggy Marley makes great melodies. Like his father, Ziggy excels--when he excels--at linking evocative catch phrases to catchy riddims with a voice that sounds at home with both. On Feel like We Want 2 B, his voice sounds more at home with the riddims than with the rhymes. Whereas Bob Marley could make even the most oversimplified us-vs.-dem lyrics ring, Ziggy imbues lines like “Put all material wants behind today” with face value only. One song earlier, he complains that the “Black man” is only “free to be poor,” and eight songs later he complains that the G7 nations haven’t given enough money to Jamaica. So I guess Ziggy wants material wealth but only so he can voluntarily leave it behind and therefore achieve the blessedness that comes with poverty. This is known as having your cake and not eating it too. And Ziggy’s voice embodies the strain of the contradiction.

No comments:

Post a Comment