A Zone of Comfort

By Sarah O’Donoghue

Street Gospels, Bedouin Soundclash’s third album, is a compilation of modern reggae rhythms, reflectively fresh lyrics and instrumental harmonies that combine to create a unique sound. Released in 2007, this album, which is strangely similar yet daringly different to their previous productions – is not to be missed by fans of this band or fans of modern reggae.

It has been said in other reviews that Bedouin Soundclash has remained tucked within their comfort zone with this album ?? but if their comfort zone is a zone of comfort for their listeners, what’s wrong with that?  Their sound, their style, their music is their spirit – it is what makes Bedouin Soundclash what, and who, they are. When something works in essence, why change it? Although similar in structure and sound to their previous albums (Root Fire (2001) and Sounding A Mosaic (2004)), the songs on Street Gospels, such as 12:59 Lullaby, are unique, creative and seductive, in an undeniably appealing way. The quality of their work is excellent and their creative talent as a band is emphasised and complimented through brilliant songs, which are light-hearted and easy-going.

Some songs on this album, such as Hush and Higher Ground seem to be trying too hard to prove Bedouin Soundclash’s validity and worth as a reggae genre. This results in a forced feeling; and the subtle power-struggle between themselves as artists and themselves as a specific brand is undoubtedly present. It is unfortunately so, as easy listening is a general feature of this genre and this band, and songs such as Hush detract from the effortlessness of their music, in essence. However, these less-than-par songs take up no more than two fifths of this album. Their songs Until We Burn In the Sun (The Kids Just Want A Lovesong, Bells of 59 and Nico On The Night Train captivate, intrigue and inspire absolute grooving for their audience. Whether familiar or not with this band, it is impossible not to enjoy this music in a calm and relaxed setting.

Through his renowned music, Bob Marley, the King of Reggae, inspired feelings of hope, freshness, and the insatiable urge to ‘jam’. Bedouin Soundclash creates this feeling in their own way with their own sound. With Street Gospels, the band comes very close to becoming the definition of modern reggae: reggae, as Bob Marley shaped it and modern reggae as Bedouin Soundclash has shaped it.

Microblog:
Bedouin Sounclash’s album, Street Gospels, regenerates a universal love of modern reggae. Their album is of such a standard that even Bob Marley would be impressed.

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