Rebelution: Free Rein

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This is reggae, but the sunny, chilled music reminds us most of Jack Johnson; music for lighting a fire on the beach after a hard day’s surfing. Then sinking some beers and saying dude a lot.

Rebelution are new to us but the internet informs us they’re big in the States. Their first full-length album, 2007’s Courage to Grow, was iTunes editor’s choice for best reggae album of 2007 and reached No.4 on the Billboard reggae chart; its follow-up, 2009’s Bright Side Of Life, “dominated” the iTunes charts, reaching the #1 spot on iTunes in the reggae genre, and no.3 for top albums downloaded in the United States in all genres. It sold a lot.

We’d guess they get a lot of radio play in dude-infested places like their native California and campus towns, and tour a lot. They’re smart, too: all four current members have degrees, in religious studies, anthropology, film studies and business economics. Conversation on the tour bus must be heavy.

This is slick, radio-friendly reggae with plenty of melody; it sometimes drifts into being slower music, closer to slow balladry. As you’d expect, the lyrics are all positive, about standing true, living your dreams and finding love. Wicked, dudes.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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