Pin It
Favorite

CD Review 

by Cara Gardner


What does Bonnie Raitt have in common with Shaggy? For that matter, what could Willie Nelson, No Doubt, the Roots, Ben Harper or Eric Clapton possibly share? True Love, the new album from Toots and the Maytals -- that's what. After more than four decades of shaping the reggae, soul, gospel and ska genres, Frederick "Toots" Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals has utilized his ear for fusion by gathering some of the most distinct vocal and guitar artists in rock, reggae and folk in order to reinvigorate his classics like "54-46 Was My Number" and "Funky Kingston." Toots also lends his reggae chops to remakes of classics from other artists, too.


Toots worked collaboratively with a variety of artists, along with the newer version of Toots and the Maytals, which he formed in the '90s after the original group split up in 1981. Though Toots' passion and talent are as apparent as ever, music critics haven't saluted True Love, possibly because of some of the odd pairings within the album. True, Toots' songs are changed immensely in the collaborative process, but part of enjoying this recent effort means stepping away from comparisons with the original Toots and the Maytals albums. Old fans will have to work to find a track that's better than what Toots has done in the past -- there aren't many. But there are creative, lively samplings as well as completely surprising fusions that make this album worth checking out. A perfect example is the first track, "Still Is Still Moving To Me," with Willie Nelson, who wrote the song -- and who isn't the first person you'd imagine harmonizing with Toots. His gravely, talking-song style, mixed with Toots' Jamaican soul, creates an odd, mismatched quality that teeters on the brink of a bad idea. No doubt the song sounds better after smoking what Toots and Willie smoked before recording, but the difference in their voices, along with the fact that not one line in the whole track is sung in the same way, gives the song an immediacy and an organic quality -- ultimately the right kind of result for a pair like Willie and Toots.


Other tracks, like "Love Gonna Walk Out On Me" with Ben Harper, feature brooding, dying-ember vocals. The duet with Bonnie Raitt, "True Love Is Hard To Find," in contrast, is anything but slow or spaced-out; it's go-lucky country meshed with Toots' unique soulful ska -- a great sound for summer.





Publication date: 04/29/04
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Cara Gardner

  • Pride or Prejudice?

    Jim West may have overcompensated for his closeted sexual identity by voting against gay rights legislation. But how are his fellow Republicans dealing with the news that the powerful conservative has admitted to sexual relationships with
    • Jul 8, 2005
  • Weapon of Mass Doubt

    Scott Ritter has been called "an honest man lost in Washington" by Forbes and "the most famous renegade Marine officer" by the New York Times. A former marine captain and the former chief weapons inspector for Unscom, the agency in charge
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Plaintiffs Speak

    For many, the current hearings in the Washington Supreme Court regarding marriage equality are interesting side notes in the ongoing battle over the right of homosexuals to marry legally. But for Marge Ballack and Diane Lantz, two plaintif
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


Publisher's Note


Community


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation