Easy Star All-Stars
Easy Star, 2011
A trip full of ups and downs, the first full-length record of original material from Easy Star All-Stars—the collective is most famous for its reggae reworkings of Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Radiohead—is a noble effort but it doesn't hold together as a whole: right from the start the opening track, "Don't Stop the Music," falls flat, only for the next, "Break of Dawn," to offer some redemption and kick off a pattern of peaks and valleys. Everything on the album is both expertly played and produced, but it's all so slick that it's easy to wonder whether a little more grit—maybe a horn that drifts in and out a little more rather than sitting perfectly within the mix, or a guitar that sounds a little more choppy—might serve the group well.
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