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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

SOULFÈGE

By Robert Kaye
Published September 27, 2005

Heavy Structured
FAM FAM

First off: Kudos to the band for its great tongue-in-cheek name. The heterogeneous quintet is undeniably polished in its arrangements, ably blending funk, reggae, hip-hop, and highlife. Not surprisingly it is making its way in the popular world of reggae-oriented artists. Case in point, along with Bob Marley, Luciano and Sizzla, Heavy Structured was named as one of the “Best Albums of 2005” by ReggaeTrain.com. The group easily won the opening rounds of the Emergenza Festival, and now proceeds to the semifinals. Some of the tracks, such as the opening “Yaa (dis be da intro),” are rap-dominated, whereas others, like “Valentine,” intersperse lead vocals sung, on this track, by female band member Kelly Nicole Johnson, with the chorus dominated by male voices. Both vocally and instrumentally, the group is highly capable of emoting great performances.  Helping forge the ensemble was Sheldon Reid, director of the Harvard Kuumba Singers, from whence most of the members put in some musical boot camp time. The result: its joyful, polished approach to music making should bode well for years to come.