Thursday, February 21, 2008
No. 378: Funky Kingston
Band: Toots & the Maytals
Album: Funky Kingston
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Outside of Bob Marley records and a soundtrack, "Funky Kingston" is the best reggae album I've ever heard. Hands down.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Some of the songs run together, but that's probably just my lack of reggae knowledge.
Best song: "Love is Gonna Let Me Down" is amazing
Worst song: "Sailing On" isn't all that good.
Is it awesome?: It is.
I came into "Funky Kingston" only knowing "Pressure Drop" from the soundtrack to "The Harder They Come." "Pressure Drop" is a fantastic rave-up song, the kind of song you could dance to until you got sick.
Granted, reggae can get pretty repetitive and "Got to be There," "In the Dark" and "Sailing On" sound close to one another. Still, the distinctive music styles the Maytals reference (country, soul, rock and roll, etc.) make for such a great album.
As such, the band takes amazing covers and destroys them. John Denver's "Country Roads" gets an amazing treatment, as does "Louie, Louie," one of rock's great songs. "Love is Gonna Let Me Down," a Maytals original, is Toots Hibbert's best homage to Otis Redding's singing style. "In The Dark" is lushy produced and features gospel-style singing seen only in some of Marley's best songs.
It's a fantastic record and one that I'm glad I now have, thanks to the RS list.