Ashes of Babylon – Day to Day Living
1.) Day to Day Living
2.) Right Time
3.) Thunderhit (Games Dem A Play)
4.) I Suppose
5.) Put It Away
6.) Piece of Gold
7.) How You Feelin’
8.) Fellin Good
9.) Nana’s Song
10.) Masters of the Universe
11.) World in Trouble
12.) Blueberry Magic
13.) Beauregard Dub
14.) Louisiana My Home
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: July 2nd, 2011
Record Label: Center Street Records
Official Website: Ashes of Babylon Website
Ashes of Babylon is a roots reggae group originally hailing from Lake Charles, Louisiana and now based out of Austin, Texas. They acquired a passion for reggae and an affinity for the culture from the sun-soaked shores of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. It was there that Ashes Of Babylon members Corey Saucier and Jacob “Debo” Crenshaw met. From there, they began jamming, and developed a respect and admiration for the vibes of reggae music. After moving back to Louisiana in the spring of 2006, Saucier quickly called on his friends and family to begin a reggae-centered project.
Ashes of Babylon has compiled dozens of original tunes, sharing the belief that an original live show must and will be the cornerstone for their success. Their first album, “Revolutionary Roots,” was released in November of 2008 and to this day has had much of an impact to fans and the group’s success. The feeling of the album was envisioned to give an authentic picture of the group’s live show and doesn’t disappoint in doing just that. The Ashes of Babylon are set to release their second full-length album entitled Day to Day Living to the world on July 2, 2011.
Ashes of Babylon’s second full-length album Day to Day Living is full of positive rootsy vibes that sound like they could come straight from the Caribbean. Full of individual and wholesome harmonies, Ashes of Babylon carefully crafted this complex mix of rhapsodic lyrics, bouncy brass sections, and the reggae skank into what some might consider all-across roots music. But no one genre can always be used to classify modern music as it has bloomed into a tree that seems to infinitely grow. There are some songs enthused by hip-hop, some by jazz, and some by rock.
Big beats always stir up the average crowd at a reggae show. The music seems to rotate around them at times made apparent by the majority of the songs on their Day to Day Living album. They sound, as if they were recorded straight from a microphone set up in a large open room with terrible acoustics to absorb reverb. However I think it adds a lot more energy to the album. In light of what they are trying to do, they were very successful.
Day to Day Living is the first song on the album. The vocals include a Rastafarian influence during many of the songs, including this one. There are tracks with another voice as well. I Suppose has many of the same characteristics as the rest the album minus the vocals, nothing but an American English accent on his voice. Masters of the Universe begins with an echoic guitar riff over some chord progressions that are easy on the ears; not a negative note present. The kicker is that most of the verses are rapped– with lyrics abundant with positive descriptions of their lifestyles and values.
The omnipresent horn section rarely operates out of harmony. Where there is saxophone there is at the same time trumpet, just in unison. Piece of Gold contains some sophisticated chords amongst the horns section and I think it creates the melody for nearly the whole song. At other points are some talented brass solos. Thunderhit(Games Dem A Play) seems like a battle between vocal and brass harmonies then is taken over by individual solos on the saxophone and trumpet.
One of my favorites Blueberry Magic has some dub effects in addition to an upbeat, dynamic tempo and catchy instrumental influences. The bass line compliments the upbeat tempo flawlessly. The line “No I might never care ,no, for what they have to say” honestly represents the song’s subject well. It is a very simple song lyrically however in terms of rhythm and melody it flows quite smoothly. The album closes on a positive note with a song about their hometown in Louisiana. I’m sure their fans will know all the words when they come home on tour.
Ashes of Babylon captured some elements of classic Mediterranean reggae and infused some modern musical elements to create their feel-good album Day to Day Living. The all-around reggae fan will love this album. Breaking down each song to its bones would be difficult due to the complex harmonies created by each instrumental or vocal section. Pick this album up if you enjoy big beats and some feel-good reggae/roots!
Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]