Whether it be the family legacy or past successes , all expectations must be set aside when stepping into Tarrus Riley’s Mecoustic , which features tunes, both old and new, in a light quite different from his past albums. While not being a completely “acoustic” album (take “Paradise” for instance), the classic one-drop sound is absent during its entire duration. However, consciousness remains and the mood set by Tarrus maintains a certain “reggae-less” roots reggae feel with the likes of “Marcus Garvey” (new version of “Love Created I”) and the smoothed out version of the already smooth “Africa Awaits”.
In the eyes of many, Tarrus may be classified within the “Lover’s Rock” genre. Nevertheless, such strict shelving must not be given heed to, for Mecoustic brings about many personal faces of the musician, with Rastafari proving to be a dominant force in these representations. Such is strongly felt in the Nyabinghi flavoured tunes “One Two Order” and “Eye Sight”. Although not extremely hard-hitting, this album is definitely worth the listen for it just may transport you to a place different than most reggae devotees are accustomed to.
Felix Landry Yuan