1-minute album review: Toots and the Maytals

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 10:10AM

I’ve been horribly slack with my minute reviews this year.  I never get time to listen to new music anymore!  As a result, I’m ashamed to say I wrote all of ONE music review in 2012.  Eesh.

For you keeners who actually counted on me spreading the word of great music, I’ll point you to Jonk Music’s countdown to find out what else happened in 2012.

So I’m kind of out of touch with new music, but what I can do, however, is tell you about some great bands you might not yet have discovered.  The first one, of course, is Toots & the Maytals.

Hey, guess what?  There’s more to reggae than your Bob Marley greatest hits CD!  Bob Marley is good, but he’s kind of to reggae what Backstreet Boys are to pop: goes down easy, great for a nice summer day.  Quality stuff, but not quite representative of all there is in the genre.

A couple of years ago, I was listening to CBC Radio 2’s Drive program, and they played Pressure Drop.  Simple but soulful, catchy but raw.  I loved it and immediately checked out the band.

Turns out they started in the mid-60s and are actually really well known.  How’d I miss that?  Well anyway, better late than never.

I find Toots is my new go-to band.  Whereas most albums I listen to a few times and then never touch again, when I’m not in the mood for a random shuffle and need something really good, I put this on.  Maybe it’s because it’s refreshingly different.  It’s edgy without being dark.  It’s effortless with just enough R&B to get me grooving.

Now that I’ve gotten to know the greatest hits well, I plan on diving into the full lengths to see what I’ve missed. I’m convinced this is a band that has a ton of stuff they couldn’t fit on the greatest hits album, but which would have been worthy.

Check out: Pressure Drop, Funky Kingston and 54-46 Was My Number (below)

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