Recording information: Anchor Studios, Kingston, Jamaica; BKB HQ; Sing Sing Studiosm Melbourne, Australia; Tuff Gong Studio, Kingston, Jamaica.
Fronted by a charismatic, politically and socially conscious singer and songwriter in Natalie Pa'apa'a, known these days as Nattali Rize, Melbourne, Australia's Blue King Brown are quickly becoming a force on the international jam band urban roots scene, mixing reggae with Afro-beat and Latin rhythms and layering them beneath lyrics that cry out for positive social change. Born Free, recorded partially at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, finds the band in full passionate flight, delivering contemporary reggae that sounds urgent, necessary, and vital. Among the highlights of this fine set are opening cut "Rize Up" and the stirring "Babylon a Fall," which calls up ghosts of Jamaica's famed roots past by featuring a cameo from the Congos. ~ Steve Leggett