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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

NASIO

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published January 25, 2006

Living In The Positive
Higher Love Music

One’s first impression upon hearing Nasio Fontaine is that he sounds a lot like Bob Marley. And he doesn’t try to tone down the similarity with modern production techniques. The music here is warm, classic, ’70s “one-drop” reggae, though the lyrics, as inspirational as would be expected, are not really very inspired. On the title track, Nasio sings, “We living in the positive/And I know Good will conquer evil/Jah is here amidst the battle” It’s by-the-numbers Wailers-style reggae, right down to the I-Threes-esque backing vocals. As derivative as this album is though, Nasio gets credit for doing it so well. He sells his songs with what seems like genuine emotional yearning, the arrangements are relatively diverse and his band is amazingly tight. By the time you get to the rousing, hard-rocking closing track “Rise Up,” you realize you’ve enjoyed every song on the album. So what if it’s not exactly groundbreaking material—it’s good, solid reggae. After all, there are certainly a lot worse things in the world to be than a Bob Marley sound-alike.