February 9, 2016

Black Uhuru - Sinsemilla (1980)

I'm not entirely sure what's the best, most well-known, or most influential of Black Uhuru's first three albums, but these records tell me one thing for sure... that Black Uhuru is my favorite reggae group of all time. I always go between Sinsemilla and Red as my favorite reggae albums. It seems that Sinsemilla is my favorite if I'm listening to it at that moment, and then Red takes the title whenever I'm listening to that. The two albums have quite different sounds, however. Michael Rose's nasally crooning is still there, but he's also imitating a woman's voice for the harmony (yeah, Puma Jones is drawn up in the artwork for the album, but she hadn't actually recorded on any of the songs). The linn drum machine is brought way up in the mixing and swings and bounces throughout this whole album; some people might think that's annoying, but I think it brings a dope fluency to the album, especially when mixed with the exceptional dubbing. Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare are the producers and rhythm section on the album and prove that there was nobody better than them at what they did. The album holds a more organic feel than either Showcase (Guess Who's Coming To Dinner) or Red, but the melodies are just as memorable and lovely as on those others. One of the best albums to ever come out of Jamaica. I mean after all it is named in honor of (and if you listen to the lyrics, pretty much dedicated to) dank-ass seedless ganjah.