Review: Easy Star All Stars – First Light

Review: Easy Star All Stars – First Light

Easy Star All-Stars – First Light
Track Listing:
1.) Don’t Stop The Music
2.) Break Of Dawn
3.) First Light (Ramblin’ Fever)
4.) One Likkle Draw (Feat. Junior Jazz and Daddy Lion Chandell)
5.) Something Went Wrong
6.) Easy Now Star (Feat. The Meditations, Tony Tuff, and Lady Ann)
7.) Universal Law
8.) Paid My Dues
9.) Reggae Pension
10.) In The Light
11.) Unbelievable (Feat. Cas Haley)
12.) All The Way
13.) I Won’t Stop
14.) Don’t Stop Dub Music
15.) First Light (Dubmatix Remix) [Bonus]
16.) Demons (Bonus)

The Pier Album Rating:

Label: Easy Star Records
Release Date: April 5th, 2011

Artist Background:
The Easy Star All Stars have won acclaim by reworking classic albums into modern day Reggae masterpieces. Dub Side of the Moon, Radiodred and Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band have become instant classics in their own right. After 10 years and many hours clocked on stage and in the studio, ESAS have forged their first original full-length album with the release of First Light.

Album Review:
When The Pier was notified that the Easy Star All Stars were releasing their first original studio album we were all ears. Over the years ESAS has defined themselves as one of the most powerful Reggae production conglomerates outside of Jamaica. It was definitely a treat to get first crack at listening to this album.

ESAS is comprised of an ever-evolving group of musicians and vocalist. One of the advantages of having so many contributors is the depth of knowledge for not only Reggae but music in general. The biggest obstacle producer Michael Goldwasser most likely faced in the making of this album is cohesion. The music behind the songs stems from very Reggae to R&B with hints of Pop. Even though genre lines are blurred the backing tracks provide a comforting unity throughout the journey.

Don’t Stop the Music is an appropriate way to kick things off with Menny More at the helm. The new roots fusion of melodic horn lines and infectious bass carry through to other tracks like Break of Dawn, All the Way and Reggae Pension. No Reggae album would be complete without at least one song referencing cannabis. One Likkle Draw featuring Junior Jazz and Daddy Lion Chandell pays homage to the long time struggle between authority and a man’s right to get high.

When I think of classic dancehall music, Paid My Dues is the type of song that usually pops into my head. Pulling from a traditional dance-hall riddim, this song will instantly make you get out of your seat and start flicking a lighter around your head.

Ten songs in and the album takes an unexpected turn. In the Light sounds like it was taken directly out of a Toni Braxton album. This neo-R&B song (using the same lyrics from Break of Dawn showcases the wide range of musical ability that ESAS has developed over the years.

Unbelievable would have to be my favorite song on this album. It also comes as no surprise that Easy Star label mate and The Pier featured artist Cas Haley is handling the vocals. There is a definite air of Reggae-Pop happening with the vocal harmonies and straight forward song structure but its not a bad thing. Haley’s voice is instantly recognizable and it was nice hearing him on this record.

From start to finish First Light is a solid, well produced album. Easy Star All-Stars continues to break new ground in the world of new reggae music.

Written & Reviewed by:
David Foral

[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]