Alborosie Freedom And Fyah on LP
Sicilian born, Alborosie is the complete package – a festival headliner who's written, played and produced a succession of bestselling albums since his 2008 debut Soul Pirate, and now culminates in this latest set Freedom & Fyah which he says has "a very strong dub influence, and with signs of dub-step and electronic music in some of the tracks. It's like a concept album. On most of my albums, you might have a roots or rub-a-dub track and then you have a ska, but this time they're all headed in the same direction."
He adds, "It's a new adventure for me although lyrically, I cover everything as usual. Reggae is a very social music so I touch upon politics, love and revenge but it's Freedom & Fyah, right? That means you're going to get songs of freedom, and you have to go through fire as well because there are people who love us and those who don't and so I can't be a hypocrite and tell people how everything's fine all the time. We have to fight back sometimes and the way I do that is by making songs like Poser. People always pretend to be good but behind the scenes they may be doing something bad, so that song is like a judgment, y ‘understand? And I include myself in that because I don't want to be judging people and saying I'm clean and nice or whatever. No, we're all human, and we make mistakes. That's how life goes."
"Poser" is one of two former hits included on the album. The other is "Rocky Road." Elsewhere he delivers uncompromising Rasta lyrics, as heard on blazing roots tunes like "Can't Cool," "Judgement" and Cry," which derides the gunmen who've turned Kingston's inner city communities into killing fields. On "Rich" he warns that money doesn't bring happiness whilst "Everything" recalls the early-80s, when rhythms by the Roots Radics ruled the dancehalls. Ky-mani guested on Alborosie's debut album, and they later reworked a handful of Bob Marley covers together. Their latest duet is an original love song called "Life To Me" that's wrapped in choral harmonies, and has tender lyrics praising the special women in their lives. Sugus features on "Zion Youth," which is a rallying cry for today's Rasta warriors and also "Fly 420" – a track that is the perfect synthesis of traditional reggae and more progressive styles such as dub-step.