Archives (The) - Archives (Music CD)

Release Date: 01 October 2012
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It's hard to make a great roots reggae album these days, in large part because doing so means striking an exceedingly delicate balance between originality of vision and fidelity to a pretty rigid set of stylistic criteria. The Archives, a Washington, D.C. band incubated by Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton, has done it. The band's members are touring, and session pros who have worked alongside such A-list reggae artists as Eek-A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs, and Culture take their place. They got together at Hilton's invitation and started out by playing covers of classic reggae and rocksteady hits at local venues, honing their ensemble sense while gradually putting together a solid repertoire of original compositions. These are showcased on the band's excellent debut album, which could serve as a master class in that delicate balance mentioned above. Every song harks back to the glory days of classical reggae, from the one-drop grooves of "Ghetto Gone Uptown" and "Nuff a Dem Claim" to a soulful cover of "Why Can't We Live Together?" and the militant steppers beat of "Blasting Through the City." You've got your sufferer's anthems and your ganja-legalization pleas, and your sonic tribute to Black Uhuru ("Music Is My Prayer"). There's also a richly dubwise cover version of the Clash/Mikey Dread collaboration "One More Time." But despite the Archives' faithfulness to the sounds of reggae past, they never come across like a revival band -- they take the sounds and influences of an earlier era and use them to make original music that feels as relevant and fresh today as it would have in 1979. ~ Rick Anderson
Release Date: 01 October 2012

1. Who's Correct?
2. Ghetto Gone Uptown
3. Crime
4. Nuff a Dem Claim
5. One More Time
6. More to Life
7. Melodica Funk
8. Boof Baff
9. Message for the Messenger
10. Music Is My Prayer
11. Sensibility
12. Why Can't We Live Together?
13. Blasting Through the City

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Catalogue No: ESL198