Review: One Drop – Black Book Diaries

Review: One Drop – Black Book Diaries

One Drop – Black Book Diaries
Track Listing:
1.) Devil On The Pulpit
2.) Hector Pieterson
3.) One More Chance
4.) Tricked Into War
5.) If You Only Knew
6.) More Than A Landscaper
7.) My Best Friend’s Woman
8.) Daniel In The Lion’s Den
9.) I’m Sorry (but it’s over)
10.) Down Under
11.) 21-Gun Salute
12.) Favorite Lover
13.) Forward
14.) 4 Letter Word
15.) More Than A Landscaper (en Espanol)
16.) Forward (Dub Mix)

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Official Website: One Drop Website

Group Background:
Hailing from San Diego, California, One Drop’s sound has been called genuine and captivating. Their sophomore album, Black Book Diaries, features guest performances from a former English Beat and a cover of Men at Work’s 80’s hit “Down Under”. Since their start in 2006 they have toured internationally (Ecuador, Mexico, and Guam) as well as all over the U.S., and played alongside Steel Pulse, Ben Harper, The English Beat, Slightly Stoopid, and many more

Album Review:
Black Book Diaries, the highly anticipated sophomore album from One Drop, is packed with material that easily feels classic without trying to be. It has a comparable sound to albums released during the golden years of reggae, the late 70’s to early 80’s, when the likes of Bob Marley and Steel Pulse were at their peak, and could easily be mistaken as such.

Every song is well orchestrated and thought out and musically it acts as more than just a sturdy foundation. The socially conscious lyrics prove the band’s political awareness but are expressed in a way that is still easy on the ears and enjoyable to sing along to. Each song conveys a message, some may be more subdued than others but it is always there.

In “Tricked Into War”, the lyrics clearly express strong distaste for the Bush administration and the belief in conspiracy theories, “9/11 was only a decoy…” It’s refreshing to know that bands are still paying attention to the issues at hand and are able to voice their opinions with the power of music. The lyrics are thought provoking and warrant a second (and third) listen before being able to fully absorb them. Hector Pieterson prompted me to do some Internet research, and as I read up on the 13-year-old boy gunned down by police officers in South Africa in the 70’s, I realized I was doing exactly what the band wanted me to do through the message of song.

There was only one tiny misstep for me. More Than A Landscaper started out with a great feel and was quickly becoming one of my favorites until I was thrown for a loop by one line. Five little words changed my entire perspective on the song; “I’m like you, only darker.” Overall, the album sends a completely relatable message of unity and I was surprised to hear the lyric imply that all “darker” (their word, not mine) people are oppressed and forced to work blue-collar jobs. Coming from a blue-collar upbringing myself, those five words left me feeling a little excluded. However, I was quickly distracted by the soulful and upbeat track, My Best Friends Woman.

The songs on the album seem to vaguely fall into two categories: deep and thought provoking as well as lighthearted and upbeat. Tracks like Favorite Lover, One More Chance, and I’m Sorry (but it’s over), are not only infectious but also keep the album moving and prevent it from feeling too heavy.

The 16 tracks could have easily been broken up and released as two equally solid albums, but One Drop decided to give it away all at once. By loading their fans up with over an hour of praiseworthy material it shows that the band has plenty more in store for us.

Written & Reviewed By: Ashley Allred

[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]