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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

ASWAD

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published April 26, 2006

Not Satisfied
Columbia/Legacy

Years before “Don’t Turn Around” made them international superstars, Aswad was recognized as England’s finest reggae band and, in 1981, they signed a short-lived deal with the record giant CBS. Their label debut, New Chapter, is really the must-have album from this period, but there’s plenty more great material on this follow-up. You can hear their coming pop success in the pretty harmonies of the single “Pass The Cup,” and the rest of Not Satisfied is filled with happy rhythms, even when the lyrics are serious. There are burnished lover’s rock gems, solid roots-reggae classics and the wonderful conscious acoustic number “African Children (Part 2).” Four bonus tracks include both extended 12-inch versions of “Pass The Cup,” plus the dub version of the title track and the jauntier dub of “Oh Jah,” which were originally available only on a bonus 10-inch record included with the first 8000 pressings. Although it was not a success upon its initial release—it was Aswad’s final CBS record—Not Satisfied has held up well over the years and is one of their best albums overall.