CD: Island Records 314-524-119-2
It's been a while since I found a little treat like this one. I was first exposed to Buju Banton by Hellcat Records on their Give 'Em The Boot II sampler. He caught my ear with "Misty Days", a relatively simple melody that was just downright catchy.
'Till Shiloh is actually much more interesting than what I was lead to believe by "Misty Days." The album is a fusion of roots reggae, dub, hip hop and what I'd consider traditional African rhythm. It sounds like a mutt, but bear with me. Most of the album features upbeat dub style synthetic beats similar to what made Shaggy popular, heavily laden with lyrics very similar in topic to those found on your average roots reggae album by Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, Uroy or the like. The interesting part is how the focus has been shifted from the norm. Most dub albums are very bass heavy, with a focus on beat. Roots reggae emphasizes rhythm and melody. Buju Banton is very heavy on the vocals, the beat and rhythm are there for back up only. It's a refreshing change, and he does have a strong gutsy voice that's worth listening to.
The album isn't revolutionary, but an interesting deviation from the norm. If you are interested in Reggae or maybe looking for a new tangent to explore, check this one out.