Review: Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth

Review: Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth

Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth
1.) Word Upside Down
2.) One More
3.) Cry No More
4.) Childrens Bread
5.) Bang
6.) Guns Of Brixton
7.) Reggae Music
8.) Outsider
9.) Rebel Rebel
10.) Ruby Soho
11.) Blessed Love
12.) Ship Is Sailing
13.) One More (Alternate Version)

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: July 17th, 2012
Record Label: Universal Music Enterprises
Official Website: Jimmy Cliff’s Website

Group Background:
Jimmy Cliff has been a staple in reggae music since the 1960s when his first album Hard Road To Travel was released in 1968 and the subsequent release of Wonderful World, Beautiful single, which featured the single of the same name breaking into the top ten of the U.K. charts, and top 25 of the U.S. charts.

Since then, Jimmy Cliff has not changed his formula all that often, churning out record releases year after year. With over forty years of music making under Cliff’s belt, the Grammy award winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has released thirty albums in his extensive career. All throughout, Cliff’s music has inspired and energized communities from all corners of the world, and now, with his thirtieth album release ever, Rebirth will continue to follow suit for the adoring fans across the globe.

Album Review:
Whether you listen to Jimmy Cliff’s music from the sixties and seventies or in 2012, the different decades of albums could be placed side-by-side and Cliff’s belting voice is still as paramount as ever, if not more so. The adoration Jimmy Cliff has for music is abundant, even with the oddly named album title Rebirth.

One of Cliff’s greatest attributes is making the trials and tribulations of society seem completely at peace with his lustful and billowing vocals. Even with an uneasy world today, Cliff reminds the listener throughout by singing, “What about the love?!”

There is little differentiating with Jimmy Cliff’s sound, even musically with producer Tim Armstrong’s studio backing band, The Engine Room. The traditional drum intros of classic roots-reggae are prevalent throughout Rebirth.

With so many layers behind the backing band, each instrument is highlighted and not one member gets too greedy with their instrumental parts. The excitable trumpet and keyboard flows together effortlessly on numerous tracks, but were accentuated on “Outsider” and “Rebel Rebel”.

Even the act of covering some longtime reggae and ska gems like “Guns of Brixton” and “Ruby Soho,” both remakes sound like they were made for Jimmy Cliff’s natural sound. If Rancid’s frontman, Tim Armstrong, gave his stamp of approval on the rendition of “Ruby Soho,” the song certainly exceeded his expectations, and rightfully so, with Cliff manning the vocals.

Other bright spots and highlights from Rebirth were “Reggae Music,” which outlines Jimmy Cliff’s journey through reggae music in the past and present era, as well as giving a positive outlook for the future of reggae music.

With that being said, reggae music has always pushed love in front of all other factors within its’ music, and Jimmy Cliff’s rebirth has all the necessary qualities of the true purity in reggae music. After all, Jimmy Cliff is the definition of reggae music. Even with a punk rock icon producing his latest work, the sound of reggae never came through with such force, while still keeping sacred the gentle upstrokes, rugged reggae beats and overall sweet sounding message of reggae music.

For traditionalists and purists of the reggae art form, this is the album you have been waiting for since the early 1980s. And, perhaps this record won’t leave your speakers until the next Jimmy Cliff studio effort, and beyond!

Written & Reviewed By: Kris Siuta

[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]