Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lion D - The Burning Melody 2009

Lion D - The Burning Melody 2009. Its taken me a while to hear about the conscious deejay Lion D from Italy but its been worth the wait as this debut album is serious!! I've been playing it more or less on loop for a week now and think its got to be the best set by an MC since NiyoRah's Purification Session or Norris Man's Home and Away in 2006. Its also the first album by the Italian label Bizzarri Records.

Lion D is a cultural deejay with original delivery and vocal style similar at times to Jah Mason, Fanton Mojah, Pressure, NiyoRah and occasionally Capleton. Most of the 21 tracks here deal with roots and reality and the focus is on Rastafari, unity, peace & love, struggle, higher consciousness. Tune like Show More Love, Love Is The Only Way, Rise, Money, Good Herb, Stay Conscious and the single Nah Like Da Way Deh. There are also four 'conscious lovers' tunes, including a nice duet with Miss Linda. Musically the focus is on bright, skanky one-drop and new roots riddim with a 'live' feel. Good mix of original and known rhythm tracks with the European preference for rocksteady-Wailers-style riddims. Good versions of Baba Boom, Cassandra & I Shot the Sheriff (on Rise - a wicked combination with Lutan Fyah). Nah Like Da Way Deh has an excellent, long saxophone dub, its just a shame there weren't more live horns on show throughout. The album rounds off with four decent bashment selections. To get a taste check the DJ Octa Lion D Mixtape here.

The Burning Melody is a brilliant first effort and landmark European release. I can't wait to hear Lion's anticipated second CD, Reap What You Sow, due out April 2011.

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