Wednesday, February 01, 2006

UB40

Not everyone who will read this will probably agree with me, but I am very pleasantly surprised with UB40's latest album. The thirteen tracks of "Who You Fighting For?" are all excellent. Much of the album is classic UB40 with strong signatures of their first album, Signing Off, still there after 26 years.

But the best track, for me, is "Reasons" (go to iTunes and listen to their snippet, I am not sure how to link to iTunes). Quite simply, this is truly multicultural (and I use the word in its most positive, not political, sense). As well as the inevitable reggae beat, this track has a North African vocal overlay that simply knocks your socks off. It's kinda Small Heath meets Handsworth (you have to be from Birmingham to understand the implications of this). I have no idea if the track was written and recorded after the infamous Birmingham Riot of 2005 (not the far more more historically significant Birmingham Riot of 1791) but if it was, then UB40 has provided a musical blending of cultural differences that is a good way to start the building of bridges.