"Solid Ground"

(Sonar Kollektiv/Rough Trade - 2008)

This fourth studio-lp of New Zealands wonderful act THE BLACK SEEDS, together with a live- and a remix-lp it´s their sixth longplay release, is their most grown-up release till now.

Former releases of them were maybe more stuffed with fine hooklines and hit-potential, more dubby interior and even more open-minded for musical experiments too, but "solid ground" is breathtaking in the way the album title speaks.
Styled with an old-fashioned Rock´n Roll guitar, the opener 'come to me' starts surprising in a broad tense of roots reggae and serious dub sprinkles.
Following are 'slingshot' and 'take your chances' with catchy sung melodies and bright appearing horns. 'Love is a radiation' reminds how wonderful Soul and Reggae can be together - soul is really a subtheme on this record - followed by the melancholic killer 'send a message', a musical bed for falling into love.
Ok, songs like 'make a move' or 'bulletproof' sound like castaway songs of a ROBBIE WILLIAMS album, sung by the "other" of the two singers of the band, 'afrophone' appears with funk and a dash of salsa, 'rotten apple' comes along as a PARLIAMENT-tribute with a tightened brake, make questions about the width of the band-program, but we have to accept THE BLACK SEEDS are very big in their home country and so they want to present a more bandwidth as dub- and reggaewise acts usually do.
Like love spreads, roots reggae spreads to get combined with soul, pop, funk, rock´n roll and dub on this record with an affectionate handwriting.
Competent, elegant, and in the conclusion of this fine work ('the bubble', 'make a move dub') really spiritual and dubby.

Bernhard Groha (



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