Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Rising Above Bedlam
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
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Ah, but when it works
Mr. A. Pomeroy | Wiltshire, England | 03/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was an important album for Jah Wobble, because it was his comeback. He had been the bassist for Public Image Limited in the late 1970s and early 1980s, doing a fantastic job, and he released a solo album in 1980, but after that he spent most of the 1980s out of the music scene entirely. Rising Above Bedlam sounds a little old-fashioned at times, and is a mixed bag. When it works, it's an excellent reminder of the kind of world techno which Wobble influenced. When it doesn't work it's lousy.
"Visions of You" was one of the singles, and remains Wobble's most distinctive and memorable track. It has Sinead O'Connor doing guest vocals, and everybody who has the song likes it. It's one of those universally admired singles, like "Heroes" or "Good Vibrations", that everybody likes and enjoys. There is a simple chorus which goes round in a circle, and it is the only track where Jah Wobble's vocals work; the his gravelly tones contrast well with Sinead's voice. "Bomba" was the other single, and is the other stand out, although it sounds dated, in a mid-1990s ambient-ethnic-world-techno way. It has vocals by Natacha Atlas, who was to early-1990s ambient ethnic techno as Bjork and Elizabeth Fraser were to drum'n'bass a couple of years later.
The rest of the album doesn't match these two songs. It's as if Wobble was unsure of the ethno-ambient stuff and wanted to write some fairly conventional pop/rock songs. Also, Wobble is not a naturally gifted singer, and he often sounds tuneless. "Relight the Flame" is a plodding ballad, "Ungodly Kingdom" is a frantic mistake. A lot of the songs are also brought down by old-fashioned, 80s-style drum machines. Wobble's talents lie in his rock-solid dub bass and his avuncularity, in that he is easygoing and can bring a lot of different people into the mix. He's like Ringo Starr in that respect, more of a foundation than a front man.
The title track is an odd throwback to Public Image Limited, a spoken monologue over bass guitar. However the album picks up immediately, with "Erzulie", which also has Natacha Atlas on it and is superb, haunting and distant, at least in the verses. The choruses are ruined by a brassy part that sounds like the verse from Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills". "Everyman's an Island" is a skippable twangy dance track, i.e. it feels good to skip past it to the next track, "Soledad", which has Natacha Atlas on it again, sounding a bit like Bjork. It's a slow, moody ballad, and I wish that Wobble had hired Atlas for the whole album, and written more songs in the same style.
"Sweet Divinity" is ruined totally by a poor-quality synth brass arrangement, "Wonderful World" is just poor and both tracks have Jah Wobble singing on them, a bad thing.
So then, "Bomba", "Visions of You" - an all-time classic - "Soledad" and "Erzulie", oddly enough all the ones with women on, are good. And the rest is not good and you will listen to half of each track, once. That's about sixteen minutes of good stuff and a lot of filler; Wobble got better over time."
Atlas Wobble and international friends
Ian R. Bruce | Natick, MA United States | 04/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great cast - Wobble, Natacha Atlas, Sinead O'Connor, and The Invaders make for a handful of great tracks with an eclectic world-beat feel."
K. Prousalis | drama GREECE | 04/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"World music mixed with ethnic pop dub and ambient elements .A unique recording where musicality has the first word . Warm full and excellent extensive and detailed bass playing from Jah Wobble .The real star is actually NATASHA ATLAS with her fascinating vocals here and not sinnead o conor.RISING ABOVE BEDLAM is perhaps his most completed work ."