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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

LUCKY DUBE

By Mamoun Diallo
Published September 8, 2005

Rough Guide To Lucky Dube
World Music Network

Lucky Dube recorded the first reggae album in South Africa in 1975, with Rasta Never Die, which was banned for years by the authorities. And even if he had never recorded another note, that would have been accomplishment enough. Luckily, Dube continued to record and today is one of the most prolific reggae artists in all of Africa. This 2001 collection gives fans a chance to catch up and take stock on the man’s impressive catalog. Early hits like “Slave” and “Reggae Man” evoke a powerful déjà vu, reminding listeners of the Apartheid era under which they were recorded. While newer tracks, such as “Crime And Corruption” and the beautiful, hymnlike “The Way It Is” don’t let the ANC-led government off the hook too easily either. The only sticking point here is the sameness of Dube’s sound. Spread over 15 tracks, his standard-issue roots reggae begins to wear a bit thin. Still, from start to finish, this record is a great way to immerse yourself in the music of one of Africa’s most enduring reggae legends.