Release Date: Apr 15, 2014
Record label: Tuff Gong
Genre(s): Reggae, Contemporary Reggae, Reggae-Pop
Coming up on his third decade of making music, Bob Marley's eldest son Ziggy had already climbed the charts with a series of reggae-pop hits before doing some of that mid-career wandering that artists often do, going off on pleasing larks such as children's albums (2009's Family Time) or a return to rootsy reggae (2011's Wild & Free). All the while, he watched his younger brothers Damian and Stephen launch the 21st century electro-roots revolution, but rather than join their fray, his superior 2014 effort Fly Rasta finds him acting as the Marley kids' proud elder statesmen. Here, he's able to bundle his past into an album that's a welcome combination of comfortable and vital, kicking off with the very jam band "I Don't Wanna Live on Mars," a playful number that punches and high-kicks before sliding into a funky groove that recalls Ziggy's old crew, the Melody Makers.
The eldest of the Marley siblings, Ziggy has had a career that stretches over three decades. Arguably the Marley whose voice is the closest facsimile to his dad's, Ziggy can always be counted on to craft conscious one drop reggae with memorable melodies and the right amount of laidback bass. This is on show here, but there's more.With Fly Rasta, Marley presents wide-ranging knowledge of roots and culture, as well as some funk, soul, rock and pop know-how.
Bob Marley is justly celebrated for bringing Jamaican music to a worldwide audience, and son Ziggy has done his best to keep his dad's flame alive, garnering Grammy awards along the way. It begins – over-optimistically, as it turns out – with the sound of a countdown to take-off. Opening track I Don't Wanna Live On Mars sets Fly Rasta's grisly tone – watery pop-reggae with a One Love, save-the-planet message.