Easy Star All-Stars | Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band

Easy Star (2009)
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  May 12, 2009
4.0 4.0 Stars

A dub-wise version of the Beatles' classic album seems a novelty concept, but this madly entertaining disc is a buoyant tribute to the flexibility of the Fab Four's open-ended vision of pop, as well as the low-tech sonic trickery perfected in Jamaica's famed Studio One.

What makes Frankie Paul's delivery of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" work as it chanks along merrily is the same quality that transports the Mighty Diamonds' delicately harmonized "Getting Better" and keeps Kirsty Rock's "She's Leaving Home" sweet: unwavering faithfulness to the Beatles' winning melodies.

After that, the drunken reverb effects on the cracking snare drums and the voices of the cast — which also includes Luciano, Max Romeo, Ranking Roger, Steel Pulse, and Sugar Minot — just add playfulness to a chilled-out vibe that's knit together by plenty of slinky bass and muted guitar scratching. Great for kouchie passing, but lovely on its own terms, too.

EASY STAR ALL-STARS + GIANT PANDA GUERILLA DUB SQUAD | Middle East downstairs | May 15 at 8 pm | www.mideastclub.com

Related: Slideshow: Easy Star All-Stars at the Middle East downstairs, Interview: Steve Swallow on the Gary Burton Quartet, What of the Beatles?, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, The Beatles,  More more >
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