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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » ITALIAN/NIGERIAN REGGAE SINGER LION D, RELEASES THIRD ALBUM “BRING BACK THE VIBES!”

ITALIAN/NIGERIAN REGGAE SINGER LION D, RELEASES THIRD ALBUM “BRING BACK THE VIBES!”

Italian/Nigerian singer and singjay Lion D’s third and latest album ‘Bring Back the Vibes’ is a perfect example of how great contemporary European reggae can sound. It has the usual blend of one drop riddims, hip-hop, soul and dancehall, but this album also incorporates gospel and blues, mostly in the form of a sweet harmonica provided byLee Jaffe, who played with Bob Marley and The Wailers.

Lion D - Bring Back The VibesThe album aims to bring roots reggae and dancehall from the 80’s and 90’s into the spotlight. And the result is very successful, even though ‘Bring Back the Vibes’ has a very contemporary feel with its high energy and hip-hop flavored beats.

It’s positive and conscious and Lion D deals with spirituality, romance, unity, equality, struggle for work – something German roots reggae singer Uwe Banton also did on his latest album ‘Mental War’ – and self-respect, as in one of the album’s several highlights – No Bleaching Cream.

The tasty and tight riddims are mostly supplied by the Livity Band and composed byMagista. Onboard is also talented Jamaican singer Nikki Burt, who provides excellent harmonies on several songs, and a number of guest artists – Ras TeweldeGappy RanksSkarra Mucci and Blacky Grace.

The album collects 18 songs, of which two are short interludes from the cult motion picture Rockers and one a cappella intro and one acoustic outro. There are actually several acoustic efforts, and the ukulele-led So Beautiful sounds like someone has putBruno Mars in a studio in Kingston.

The set mixes unreleased and already released material as well as relicks and fresh originals. A lethal hip-hop fueled version of Inner Circle’s monster hit Sweat (A La La La Long) turns up surprisingly, whereas versions of Carl Meeks’ Weh Dem FahEek-A-Mouse’s Wa-Do-DemThe Techniques‘ You Don’t Care and Jackie Mittoo’s Mission Impossible are more expected choices.

Lion D’s deep voice and phrasing sounds a bit like dancehall superstar Busy Signal, and where he uses the catchphrase “hotter” Lion D favors “wah dis” in a similar manner. Lion D is also – just as Busy Signal – a versatile performer that can go from singing to gruff deejaying in just a few.

The press release describes Lion D as one of the most promising talents on the international reggae scene. Not sure that’s true, but he’s definitely – along with artists like Skarra Mucci and Gappy Ranks – one of Europe’s most interesting individual artists and one to keep an eye on.

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