By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
"Confrontation" kicks things off with a stirring, sparse military drumbeat beneath interspersed speeches from Haile Selassie I and Marcus Garvey. Against this militantly idealistic backdrop Marley drops denunciations of the bureaucracies that perpetuate war ("Institute of the church in war/Preaching and rehearsing war"). Acerbic commentary also abounds in "In 2 Deep" ("If you're over ten and watch CNN/And believe what you see, you're in 2 deep") and continues through the CD's title cut, in which Damian's depiction of Jamaica is as menacing as Robbie Shakespeare's sampled bass line: "Welcome to Jamdown/Poor people dead at random/Political violence, can't done!/Di thugs dem wi' do what them got to/And won't think twice to shot you...."
But Damian also displays an engagingly playful side on the rollicking reggae/rock and roll romp "All Night," with Steven providing the sung chorus. "Beautiful" boasts a searing sax solo with a soulful hook by reality-TV star (and sometime singer) Bobby Brown.
Also featured are two covers of Bob Marley classics: "Move," a reconfiguration of "Exodus" with a segment of the original rhythm looped under Damian's rapid-fire rhymes; and the hip-hop-infused "Pimpa's Paradise," which features Black Thought from The Roots. Yet the inclusion of their father's songs wasn't necessary: The sonic sophistication Damian and Stephen display throughout Welcome to Jamrock brilliantly channels Bob's revolutionary spirit into their 21st-century musical vernacular.