After three years of absence, during which the individual band members were involved in all kinds of side projects, Groundation is finally returns! But as the album title indicates 'The Next Generation', this is a completely new version of the band. Apart from front man Harrison Stafford there isn't a trace of the rest of the old Groundation anymore. We can't call this maneuver quite kosher, but that doesn't mean we won't judge this album on its musical merits. 'The Next Generation' sounds a lot less jazzy than its predecessors and more rootsy. Will Blades' keyboard work, which is meant to replace the riffs of organ virtuoso Marcus Urani, is less prominent, but instead the new horn section (Craig Berletti - trumpet and Roger Cox - saxophone) gets all the space it needs ('Prophets & Profit', fun homophony by the way) and guitarist Eduardo Gross can also indulge himself in a few songs ('New Life', a song for which Harrison Stafford drew inspiration from the ongoing worldwide refugee crisis, 'Lion In Man', 'Prophets & Profit'). The album opens with 'Vanity', a track with an impressive instrumental intro lasting more than two minutes, 'Warrior Blues' starts with a fragment from 'I've Been to the Mountaintop', the last speech Martin Luther King Jr. gave in Tennessee on April 3rd, 1968, the day before he was murdered at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, and 'Hero' gets a tropical touch thanks to the collaboration with popular Brazilian reggae band Ponto de Equilibrio. Our personal favorite on 'The Next Generation' is 'Fossil Fuels', a fiery plea against the use of fossil fuels. Groundation is dead, long live Groundation 2.0!