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Top 10 World Music CDs

Stephen Marley
February , 2008

By Tad Hendrickson

Mind Control
Universal

For years, Stephen Marley has been the production and song-writing brains behind the Grammy-winning music of his brothers Damian and Ziggy (with the Melody Makers), not to mention his younger brother Julian. So it seems strange that he waited until 2007, at age 34, to release his debut. Long rumored and oft-elayed—Marley even allowed the label to send out an early advance CD, only to scrap it in favor of rotating in some newer material—the final product was well worth the wait. A tour de force of sounds and styles, Mind Control works flamenco guitar, Nyabinghi rhythms, R&B, hip-hop and dancehall into a roots reggae framework. Tunes like “Dance, Dance” are party starters, while others like “Chase Dem” have a political thrust that matches the societal critique of the title track. More than anything, this album made the list because it’s a slab of original reggae music that owes a debt to Bob’s legacy, but it’s far enough from the tree to have a life of its own.