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.

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