Morgan Heritage - Avrakedabra (CTBC)

After winning the Grammy for Best Reggae Album with 'Strictly Roots', with 'Avrakedabra' Morgan Heritage seam to continue even further down the eclectic (read: commercial) path. In addition to trademark new roots tunes like opener 'Want Some More' (featuring the funky talk box or jappio tube of Mr. Talkbox), 'Selah' and 'We Are', an excellent combination with Kabaka Pyramid and Dre Island, the track list of 'Avrakedabra' also contains a whole series of lovers tunes ('Golden', 'Ready For Love' feat. R. City, 'Dancing In The Moonlight'). 'Dream Girl' is pop with hip-hop influences and for 'One Life To Live' the Morgans added some Skrillex-effects. As the title suggests, 'Tribute To Ruggs' is an ode to Third World vocalist Bunny Ruggs, with the particularity that the voice of the late singer can also be heard in the song. What in god's name inspired the band to cover Kool & The Gang's 'Reggae Night' is a mystery to us, and the stinker even pops up in the track list twice! With 'Avrakedabra' Morgan Heritage mainly seems to target the US mainstream market, a development which we rather regret. 'Avrakedabra' still contains just enough solid tracks to keep our attention, but this is not the Morgan Heritage album we'll remember.


Added: Apr 29, 2017