Search - John Brown's Body :: Among Them

Among Them
John Brown's Body
Among Them
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

This group is asking listeners to suspend any disbelief in white American boys' ability to rock it hard, Jamaica style. It's also tempting to snicker at the assumed Jamaican accent and the liner notes' account of the band'...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Brown's Body
Title: Among Them
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Shanachie
Original Release Date: 1/19/1999
Release Date: 1/19/1999
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop
Styles: Ska, Reggae
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 016351454225, 669910087459

This group is asking listeners to suspend any disbelief in white American boys' ability to rock it hard, Jamaica style. It's also tempting to snicker at the assumed Jamaican accent and the liner notes' account of the band's beginnings in high school under the name Tribulation. Sufferation in suburbia? Can't match Trenchtown! Still, John Brown's Body well deserve a fair and impartial listen. Of the countless homegrown "Jafaiking" bands gigging all over the United States, this one is undoubtedly the most credible. The writing is strong, the chops tight, the production lush and crisp, and lead singer-cofounder Kevin Kinsella is blessed with honeyed, resonant pipes. So what if nothing's really new here--mostly borrowed, in fact. Nothing's really new these days in reggae anyway, and John Brown look better for the lack of competition and their obvious sincerity. At least this increasingly popular group is taking its lessons from reggae's finest, the prophets of the music's roots & culture '70s period. With reggae currently mired in the doldrums, uncertain of its direction--to party or to praise Jah?--John Brown know exactly where they stand--in the rosy glow of that good old reggae One Love. --Elena Oumano

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CD Reviews

One of the finest roots albums of the 90's
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you enjoy reggae and dub dating from the 1970's- with real instruments - bass, drums, horns, organ, instrumental dubs - than this album (and this band) is for you. JBB has launched a roots revival, successfully capturing, emulating, and furthering a style of music that some thought may have been a thing of the past.The album touches on several different styles, from dark, sparse drum and bass workouts to full, warm and hopeful concious roots reggae. The dub versions are very well done, letting the instrumental textures shine and allowing the grooves to unfold in an uncrowded, patient and articulate way - check out the last track or "this is drum and bass". The musicianship is on par with any contemporary roots band, exceeding most. The bassist is phenomenal, and the drummer shows a well studied feel for several angles on roots music, from fast Upsetter-style skank to deep swinging roots to stepper style. Back up vocals are abundant, tasteful and well harmonized throughout. The horns are real, textured, and tight but not overstated. This album really captures the warm analog sound that so characterized days of old in reggae. While some will argue that JBB is a white boy throwback band, the bottom line - their music - ranks in my top five reggae albums of the 90's. This album demonstrates a better musical understanding of roots reggae than does most Jamaican or English contemporary "reggae" out there. It should be noted that JBB live is a jazz caliber show digging deep into depths of roots music - you will be floored. Certainly one of, if not the best reggae show in the United States right now. We are blessed that they play."
Real reggae, real nice. Ites! Ites!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"John Brown's Body album 'Among Them' is not to be missed. The music and the message ring true - a creative yet classic reggae sound that is grooving and danceable with a vocal message that ascends the craziness of materialism and consumerism, and speaks of the true values of life - love, peace and harmony. A universal message for all of us. The CD has ten or so vocal tracks with two or three dub tracks. The mix is very warm, with strong drum and bass, clear vocals, and solid horns and keys, plus the dubwork is amazing! Highly recommended."
The best new reggae in years
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As students of reggae, these guys are valedictorians. They have combined all the best elements of reggae music in "Among Them." They've got great hooks, superb horns, well-placed harmonies, and undulating keyboards. In short, it's archetypal reggae. While it might have been easy for a bunch of white guys to miss the point of reggae, singer/songerwriter Kevin Kinsella also seems to understand the spiritual essence of the music -- that it's about love, as in "One Love." Truly a phenomenal CD."