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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Groundation

By Jill Ettinger
Published April 27, 2007

Upon The Bridge
Young Tree

Groundation frontman Harrison Stafford has a voice that catalyzes listeners through a vaguely familiar melodic tone. Add to that the rich lyrical content of his heady reggae, and a journey roots deep is likely. The band’s fifth studio release, Upon The Bridge unravels gorgeously through a story of transformation, illuminated simply and eloquently in the accompanying storybook; one man’s journey across a symbolic bridge of fear and confusion leads to the power of self-manifestation. Vocal assistance by legends Pablo Moses and Ijahman Levi texture well on tracks like “Used to Laugh,” “Mighty Souls” and “Sleeping Bag-o-Wire.” The outfit’s jazz background is apparent on “Me Na In De”, “Fight All You Can” and the mellow title track, with its lyrics “why are they afraid to see what they can all surely see?” The days of Bob Marley And The Wailers may be long gone, but Groundation is filling the void, and more.