|"Therapeutic" by Ziggi Recado [Zion High Productions]|
Generally speaking, solid common sense and music aren't two things which tend to get along very well. What often seems like the obvious result and course of action when it comes to music is rarely the one taken and, likely because of that, it is impossible to even consider the potential things that we, as fans, have missed out on throughout the years. However, with that being said, when music and good brain work do link up, they can produce some truly satisfying work. In the explosive first half of 2014 we've seen it happen on a few occasions already. One of them we take a look at today as, fittingly, one of the hottest labels going today, Zion High Productions (and the Zion I Kings) teamed up with one of the biggest talents of this generation. Today we go back and REWIND! one of the biggest albums of the year, "Therapeutic" by Ziggi Recado.
You know what? In December, the opener of "Therapeutic", 'Masquerade' should be in a handful of tunes that will get my consideration for being my absolute favourite song of 2014. It was GOLDEN [!] and the further we get away from my first hearing the tune, the sweeter and sweeter it becomes. You'll hear dozens and probably hundreds of songs which're constructed on metaphors, lyrically, but few will reach the levels attained by this brilliant piece as Ziggi breaks down the 'extravaganza' on display in the world today on one of the strongest social commentaries that I've ever heard (which is saying a lot in Reggae music). And not to overlook the spectacular backdrop which underpins what is still the finest song on this album.
"Babylon ah recruit fi di circus
Dem ah juggle, my youth, keep di focus
THIS IS A MASQUERADE"
2. 'Got It Right Here'
It had been a minute from the last time that I'd heard 'Got It Right Here' before going back for the sake of this post and perhaps that had something to do with it… or maybe it didn't - but this song made me SMILE from the opening lines uttered until it reached its end and then more. 'Got It Right Here' is a love song and it's actually a fairly basic one, but this song is so damn sweet your ears may just pick up a cavity or two listening to it. One of the album's most immediately pleasing sets and another jewel seated on this album.
3. 'Miss Outta Road'
"Well if you got di money she will entertain
And any time she spend is never time in vain
Cause she plays di game
Inna cycle, she can't break di chain
Outta road she find nuff joy and pain
But this ghetto life is all she know -
And di block, even when business slow
Jah know how she love this business so
She no play fi let this business go
She just wanna si di interest flow"
"Years in the biz, now she's a veteran
And everyday she pon di road ah look another man
Seh she ready for whatever, not the wedding band
And from di money inna hand, then nothing never wrong
Seh she deh ya pon pace fi make a million
And di sitten weh she sell, it coulda never done
She need more and more wood fi mek di fyah bun
'No refund' -
She go so, 'no refund'
Seh she live life with no fear and she don't care
So far away, she's just somewhere out there
Seh she got di sweetest thing around
Nobody ever turn it down
She seh one day she'll wear that crown"
Did you listen to 'Miss Outta Road'? I mean really listen to it??? If you did then you, like me, have by now surely come to the conclusion that it was a lyrical masterpiece! This song, probably more than any other on the whole of "Therapeutic", has gone up so much for me and it started highly as well. Originally, I linked 'Miss Outta Road' to I Wayne's immortal 'Can't Satisfy Her' and while it is a strong comparison (biggup me), I now see this one as more of a warning to how living in a particularly bad way can overcome and overtake someone -- regardless of gender -- and while Ziggi makes his point here through a woman, it can really apply to anyone in some way.
4. 'Talk About'
I focused on the 'star potential' of a song like 'Talk Already' and I definitely stand by it. There was just so much to like in regards to this tune and, should it ever get some type of shine, I think it could do big things. Until then, or unless then (… even after then), it sits for me as one of the most enjoyable songs on this album and it doesn't just come in as this shell of a song which is solely meant to get heads rocking (that's just one of its side effects) it has considerable substance as well. As Ziggi Recado tells everyone to just try as hard as we possibly can to mind our own damn business!
5. 'Luv Injection'
The therapeutic 'Luv Injection' carries a similar set of circumstances to the one which it chases on this album in my opinion. A complete JOY to listen to, the tune certainly is a 'love song' but we tend to throw around phrases like that too casually (even though they do apply) (there's just a lot of songs about love) and I want to stress that this one is of a very high quality which only need to be heard to be enjoyed on almost any level.
6. 'I'm Blaak'
'I'm Blaak' now registers as simply one of the best songs that I've ever heard Ziggi do at any stage of his remarkable career. It is GORGEOUS and a large chunk of its beauty comes in its simplicity. There's nothing really too complicated about it. There's a chorus, a half of a verse, a full verse and that's it! But the way this song is presented, as I believe I said before, is just Ziggi sitting down and opening his mind and we're sitting there listening to this most natural and organic monologue which scintillates and dazzles in a very streamlined way. Also, you can't talk about this song without mentioning the music. It is sterling and, fortunately, utilized on a tune which is pretty much impossible to forget.
7. 'Don't Disturb'
"Hey it is such a natural thing
When Reggae music inna full swing
Spark it up, don't pack it up -
Inna di dance wi ah start it up
Hey cannabis, it is the right thing
So now the whole world legalizing
This medicine is hypnotizing
I & I advising
Don't disturb me when I'm loading up -
My chalice cup -
Or rolling up"
'Don't Disturb' is another tune which has grown on me a bit more from the first time that I heard it (as has the album, in general, which is unsurprising) and, in this case, it is just a matter of taking in the entire song. With lyrics and especially the music, 'Don't Disturb' is a special piece for what it is. And coming from someone such as Ziggi Recado who has done special things on the subject in the past it, too, comes as no surprise. A fantastic song.
8. 'Earthstrong' featuring Midnite
"May you live to see another Earthstrong
More life, more love destined to come your way
Another Earthstrong - give thanks and celebrate love
When they said it was for you, it came together quickly, sped on
Good sentiments and contributions voluntarily put in
That which comes from a sincere heart
So well resources give
Certainly merited and well deserved"
When you attach Vaughn Benjamin to a song, typically, that song immediately separates itself from everything else (even when its one of his own albums) (you'll have fourteen wholly DIFFERENT pieces) and although that was the case here, 'Earthstrong' is a song which is slowly going back towards the 'center' for me. You'll forgive me for reading too much into it (a habit one develops after reviewing… twenty-five or so Midnite albums worth of music in about a year) but this is a song about getting older and more experienced in life and celebrated the "odyssey" and the "journey". The combination of Ziggi and Benjamin still holds a grand importance and interest for me as, once again, common sense struck this album and did it in a major way.
9. 'Delete My Numba'
I was interested to see how 'Delete My Numba' might reach me these days as I hadn't heard it in a little while and when I first heard it, I just didn't think it was very good before I began to appreciate more and more of it. Now? While there is a spectacular class of songs on this album that I still can't put it near, 'Delete My Numba' Is a winner. What I really like about it is how relatable and realistic the tune is. It is a composition about falling out of love and how going through a bad relationship and the remnants of a bad relationship can just bring so much stress to every part of your life. And it isn't just this sad song dealing with gloom and things like that (although that is certainly part of the experience as well), instead you get the more familiar range of emotions such as frustration and downright mental exhaustion. I'm still working on this tune also and if we rewound it back in a few years, I wouldn't be shocked if I rated it even higher.
10. 'Jah Mercy' featuring Taranchyla & Earl 16
As I tend to do on songs that I really like (and I would hope was the intention of its creators), I've well taken 'Jah Mercy' and applied it to something which is more significant for me but in this case, I think it may've also been the full aim of this tune. To my ears, Ziggi and ZHP tapped Taranchyla and the incomparable Earl 16 to deliver a message on the power of forgiveness. I've done A LOT of stuff in my life that I've had to apologize for and I've been fortunate to have a whole heap of people (not all of them, but many of them) accept my apologies and I think that the thought here is that if THE ALMIGHTY has mercy which is "endless" for all of the things that we do, then who am I and who are you to not be able to forgive someone for what they have done. And it is acknowledged that this isn't only a state of thought or being, but a process ["educate and stimulate self-awareness"], but one worth undertaking. BOOM!
11. 'Ras Got Love'
"When I see you inna di morning time -
Skin glistening under the sweet sunshine
In my memory you locked up inna my mind
Me and you together, spiritually intwined
When I see you inna di evening time -
Your body make physically inclined
Girl you're this African divine -
We got to combine"
In retrospect, 'Ras Got Love' stands as one of those rare love songs which has as one of its main attraction (and probably THE main attraction in this case) its lyrics. I don't see much of a way in which you couldn't call this tune one of the best written on "Therapeutic". On top of that (or behind that), is a glowing track which is perfect for the sound and though 'Got It Right Here' is as good as it is (and it is), 'Ras Got Love' is probably the single best tune of its kind on this album.
12. 'Guide Ova' featuring Lutan Fyah
And speaking of "main attractions" ["This is a masquerade"] [WHAT!] [BOOM!], definitely my own personal spotlight was shone thoroughly in the direction of 'Guide Ova' which featured Ziggi Recado alongside the great Lutan Fyah [new album, "Get Rid A Di Wicked", in stores now] and the light didn't reveal its flaws, it revealed a nearly perfect tune. In terms of expectations, 'Guide Ova' was a microcosm for the entire album. There was no way that an album from Ziggi Recado for ZHP would flop. It was going to be great and the only question was how great ("very" was the answer). You don't link Lutan Fyah and Ziggi Recado and produce a dud of a tune and you didn't even have to actually listen to 'Guide Ova' to know that.
13. 'Nah Know Bout U'
"Therapeutic” ends with the very stirring 'Nah Know Bout U' which still strikes me as this song that Ziggi either partially or entirely came up with 'on the spot'. It speaks highly to his talent (whether he did or made it sound like he did, in either case) that he eventually goes on to combine these thoughts under one and actually turn it into a full song. I should also speak on the music here because it, too, is somewhat impulsive and eventually ends up making for a small piece of magic at the tail of the album.
Perhaps all the common sense flowing around this album didn't quite make it to you and if that is the case - it's okay! You can start a wave of it on your own and pick up "Therapeutic" from Ziggi Recado and Zion High Productions immediately.