Saturday, July 01, 2006

Giving Good Weight - More Reggae

As with most reggae, if you’re not sure what the song’s about, it’s always safe to assume that the subject is weed. That’s how it is with Burning Spear’s "Dry and Heavy." Probably something to do with weighing a bag of dope. Or maybe it’s about the weather. But then there’s a part about "school days." And another line sounds like "some of them have an electric ion." The lyrics really are a Rasta Rorschach – sometimes I think he’s singing something about a "tugboat," too. Who knows what to make of that? It’s all top-secret Marcus Garvey code-talking. It may be so eternally rewarding because of the chronic inscrutability.

Check for the aggressive asymmetric cowbell assault at the beginning, the doughy, extruded horn toots and the outsider-art vocal harmonies. The more I listen to the little snare roll that starts the track the more am I incapacitated by its brilliance.

Burning Spear -- "Dry and Heavy"

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