After playing it positive and safe with his children’s album Family Time, Ziggy Marley returns to more adult-oriented fare with Wild and Free, a pro-cannabis album that’s suitably laid-back, militant, and organic. Helping with the organic is producer Don Was, who surrounds Ziggy with warm tones and good vibes and nothing feeling showy or cold. This enhances the freely developing numbers like “Roads Less Traveled” (a slowly chugging track that sounds inspired by Dad’s classic Wailers’ cut “Exodus”) and “A Sign” (one of those light, bright songs that reminds you Ziggy’s Melody Makers often shared the same new hippie spirit as hip-hop’s Arrested Development).
God forbid Frances Bean Cobain ever dons a flannel shirt and picks up a Fender Stratocaster, and heaven help Blanket Jackson if he ever decides to slip on a white glove and start moonwalking. For the many children of late reggae icon Bob Marley, though, following so closely in their famous father’s footsteps doesn’t seem to have been much of a problem. And though youngest son Damien stood out as the bravura player among his siblings with the release of the widely acclaimed Distant Relatives, it could be argued that Ziggy Marley’s output sounds closest to the style their father pioneered.
A polished fourth solo studio LP aimed at mainstream reggae audiences. David Katz 2011 It can’t be easy being Ziggy Marley. As the first-born son of Bob, the reggae icon hailed as "the first Third World Superstar" who remains very much a worldwide phenomenon more than 30 years after his death, Ziggy inevitably suffers from the same syndrome as Femi Kuti and Julian Lennon: being the son of someone so famous that forging your own musical identity is a terribly daunting challenge.