This release was described by The Meditations way back in 1983 as their first dance album. Produced by Linval Thompson and backed by the Roots Radics, it’s clear these guys had the clout to write themselves into reggae history. They are talented vocalists with the knack of making it seem the easiest thing in the world to pelt out sweet, irie melodies that still play out today.

The tunes on No More Friend play like digital 7’s. All are incredibly similar in vibe and tempo. Simple verse-chorus structures that repeat and fade out. Ubiquitous electronic drum patterns and single-line organ licks that stab in sparse as parsley between the vocals. Pared-back basslines that could almost be a synth loop…the air feels ripe for digital, much like it feels electric before a thunderstorm. You can sense the the Sleng Teng lurking just around the corner, waiting to pounce and change the course of reggae forever.

Personally, I can only give this a listen or two then move on. It works by all means, but since we’ve heard those drum samples recycled a million times over the last 25 years, it’s reference rather than enjoyment.

Into your digi? Go for it! But give me back that live band sound. Then I’ll be right in there again, proverbially waving my cellphone with the rest of them.

Spin Zero