Washington, DC – Roots Music.nl, the Netherlands-based webzine recently published their review of
Ras Iba’s new album "Many Lives" (Mt. Nebo Records) and features it as a "Pick of the Month." The source article is reprinted here and available at http://www.rootsmusic.nl/fc1.html?/roots_music_store.htm.
"Many Lives" and a host of other outstanding reggae releases are available at http://www.MTNEBORECORDS.com.
Iba first came to the worlds attention when he opened the Bambu Station productions compilation ‘Talkin’ Roots – Volume 1‘ in 2002 with his song ‘Chant’. With music in his blood, his father a musician, Iba had been the lead singer of some bands before but had never been very successful. His collaboration with Bambu Station led to the release of Iba’s first solo album, the rather successful Jah Lion – Children Of The Nile
(Mt. Nebo Records, 2003).
On his beautiful debut album Iba’s skilful singing, conscious lyrics and soulful backing made it stand out from the rest. The timbre of his voice and general feel of the album were very near to those of the works of the late Prince Lincoln. The typical humming, whining vocals Prince Lincoln could draw out and his staccato delivery of lyrics were very close to what Iba delivered on ‘Jah Lion – Children Of The Nile’. On his latest album it seems that he has grown considerably for his voice is now more his own and hence even better than before. The lyrics are almost all written by the man himself and the album is a bit more varied than its very fine predecessor.
The very wise, very well crafted and conscious lyrics betray an artist interested in the world’s runnings and hint that this man is probably not the next young Jamaican. The Jamaican people strive for a better island with a proper government first before they will become more interested in world affairs. Iba is from St. Croix, one of the US Virgin Islands, and has lived in Connecticut for some years. He is in his mid thirties and he does know what is wrong with the world today. From pollution to Iraq, love versus hate, the glorification of gangsters and consumer society, no issue is too big for Iba to write strong and meaningful lyrics about. In his own words: "The music is in the message and the message is in the music." (from ‘Vibes’).
Iba is backed very professionally on all tracks by Bambu Station and the mix is excellent. Two tunes are spiced up with deejays, ‘Afrika’ boasts the award winning Ijah Menelik in top form and ‘Babylon Don’t Like‘ features the not yet known but potent still Rafijah. All tracks sound great except for maybe the fake violin in ‘Strongest Woman‘. Here an already very recognisable melody is unfortunately taken over the top into something kitsch, a problem that songs about mothers suffer easily and way too often. Please concider that this the album’s only flaw. My favourite track is hard to choose but the first and fourth (‘Stay In The Right’ and ‘Save The World’) have such great synergy between lyrics and rhythm that they might just get the edge.
Ras Iba is available for interviews upon request at [email protected] US and European tour dates are now being accepted for Spring and Summer 2007. Booking inquiries at 1-678-887-1912.
by Ez Benjamin Public Relations / [email protected] / 202-321-2263