Down Your Arms is in itself a very
interesting collection of some of the best
Reggae tunes originally created by ones like
Burning Spear, Israel Vibration and the
The tracks are definitely not the most
easy to cover, the lyrics are definitely not
political correct. Sinead O' Connor's
selection of Roots Reggae reveals a
deep respect for the message of Rastafari.
For the production, Sinead O' Connor
traveled to Jamaica by herself where she
joined Sly and Robbie in Marley's TUFF GONG
studio to record the music. For each tune,
at least one of the original session players
contributed to the recording. Everything is
played and recorded by Jamaican Reggae
artists and producers.
So musically, the album is as authentic
as authentic can be. Sly and Robbie playing
a selection of classic Roots Reggae tracks
at Tuff Gong studio's can hardly go wrong.
The tracks are played tight and
skillfull. The production carries the same
marks. A little bit too dry here and there,
though. More effects and more dubby elements
would have significantly enhanced the
To listen to Sinead's voice over these
tunes however is another experience. Not
necceserily a bad one, just different.
Without knowing at least some of the
things which are discussed in this review,
this experience will definitely not be felt
to the fullness. Her (Irish) voice doesn't
blend unconditionally with the Reggae Vibes,
and yet there's a kind of symbiotic element
which can not be denied.
Those who know Irish Folk, will surely
recognize some elements of their music when
they listen to authentic Jamaican Reggae.
These elements could very well be connected
with the fact that Jamaica was not only used
as a big plantation where Africans in
slave-labor were kept in bondage. The island
also hosted quite a few Irish people too,
who were exiled from Ireland by Oliver