Ky-Mani Marley

Radio | Vox/AAO
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  December 26, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
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Although it’s no surprise that Ky-Mani Marley has largely abandoned his father Bob’s traditional reggae tempo in favor of modern hip-hop beats, it’s still a little jarring to hear him dropping f-bombs and rapping about packing heat all over his fourth album. Ky-Mani, the second youngest of Bob’s 11 children, has every right to tailor his sound to what’s current, and that’s exactly what he does here. Marley — who was said to be impressive opening for Van Halen in concert this past fall — mostly deals in predictable subject matter, as on the love song “Slow Roll,” the pick-up anthem “So Hot,” and the pious “I Pray.” His delivery sounds effortless, however, and as the album’s executive producer he has a good ear for beats, particularly on tracks like “I Got You.” It’s just that his lyrics are more Akon than Bob Marley, and Lord knows which one the world could use more of.
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