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Reggae & Caribbean    Junior Delgado    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

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Junior Delgado
Son Of Slaves
Trojan

By Matt Scheiner

Published December 15, 2006

A fundamental problem with reggae is that its traditional musicians sometimes stray from their roots. True roots reggae is elevated by natural sounds and cool rhythms, rather than trodden down by the ugliness of drum machines and keyboards. While Junior Delgado (1954-2005) began his career as a true roots messenger, Son Of Slaves chronicles the constantly changing elements of his reggae, from its humble beginnings, to its overproduced, synthetic latter days. Delgado’s distinct, sometimes out-of-tune growl can be hard to digest. Yet, it was his unique voice, political affirmations and militant delivery that distinguished him, and ultimately led to his stardom. Highlights on Son Of Slaves include “Mi Nuh Matta,” the Lee “Scratch” Perry produced “Son Of Slaves (12” version),” and “The Raiders (12” version).” But the album turns sour as “Born To Be Wild” and “Gimme Your Love” kick in, with the rhythmic chuck of guitars replaced by the unnatural sounds of synthesizers. “Hypo” and “Mr. Fix It,” while still afflicted by a more contemporary sound, are at least palatable with smooth horns and sweet grooves.

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