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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

John Brown's Body

By Jill Ettinger
Published October 2, 2008

Amplify
Mri Associated

On the heels of the tragic death of their longtime bass player, Scott Palmer, John Brown’s Body faced even more tough issues. Co-founder/frontman Kevin Kinsella left the band and singer Elliot Martin underwent throat surgery. But you can’t stop what’s meant to be and Amplify, the band’s 5th album, had a destiny all its own. Palmer and Kinsella are blatantly missing from this effort, but Martin and crew (some old and some new) do a decent job at bringing it together. Fans of Martin’s solo work (Black Castle) will find Amplify quite similar. It’s a safe record, for the most part, with tracks like “The Gold” and “Make Your Move” unraveling like B sides from their last album, Pressure Points. Midnite’s unmistakable Vaughn Benjamin roots out “Speak of The Devil,” easily one of the better tracks. JBB has often been referred to as one of the hardest working bands today, and they continue to live up to that moniker, with even more work to come.