eMusic Review 0
On the heels of his 1995 breakthrough, 'Til Shiloh, Buju Banton released another masterpiece in Inna Heights. To underscore the historical importance of Jamaica's mid-'90s roots revival and Banton's central role in the movement, this anniversary edition adds three key singles released during one of Kingston's bloodiest election seasons: "Bad Boy," "Situations" and most crucially, the unapologetic "Politics Time Again" (sung quite appropriately over a version of Bob Marley's "Heathen").
For better and (only slightly) worse, Inna Heights is less tightly edited than 'Til Shiloh. While the "Interlingua" interview snippets illuminate his artistry, they break the album's intensity. On the other hand, Banton indulges his enthusiasm for ska on "Small Axe," sings a capella, and gets more personal in his lyrical concerns. Through it all, Banton's voice — one of the most memorable reggae has ever produced — is mesmerizing. Whether on the rudeboy defense "Circumstances" or the late night come-on "Love Sponge," Banton's breathtaking tenor swings from bladed to gentle, pleading to soaring. Toots Hibbert himself passes the torch on a bracing cover of "54-46." The Marley-quoting manifesto "Destiny," the better-must-come message of "Close One Yesterday" and the profound meditation with Ras Shiloh, "Give I Strength," stand as… read more »