Roots empress Dezarie has blessed the reggae
community with the deliverance of her newest recording "Gracious Mama Africa". Released on the Afrikan Roots Lab record label,
this album emerges from the seeds planted on her amazing debut album of 2001 "FYA".
Gracious Mama Africa transports the incredible voice of Dezarie to a whole
new level - the highest heights. Her foundation is firmly established in songs such as
"Travelers" and the title track. The brilliance and clarity of Dezaries
voice is reverently unveiled on "Exhalt". Gracious Mama Africa abounds with pleas for social justice and racial equality with selections
like "Poverty", "Strengthen Your Mind" and "Justice".
But to this listener, the strength and power of Dezarie
is most strikingly displayed in her condemnation of so-called civilization. "Gone
Down", "Not One Penny", "Law Fe De Outlaw", "Slew Dem An
Done" and "Judgment Come" all deliver conscious punches that penetrate the
"Do what you want, wheresoever you please. Bombing Vieques, yes your
bombing the seas. Lock up anyone that was opposing. Speaking against the nonsense that you
were doing. But babylon you gone down, you gone down. Babylon funeral, you gone down."
After receiving Atlantas "Best New Female Reggae Artist"
award in 2001, Dezarie returned to her native island of St. Croix. Since
that time, she has been working closely with Midnite, the players of
instruments for "Gracious Mama
trademark sound is fully displayed on this album. Momentous bass lines from Phillip
Merchant, classic one-drop from Dion Hopkins and the bubbling of
Ron Benjamin on keyboards prevail throughout, accentuated by Abijahs
charismatic guitar playing.
From the excellent overdubs of Dezaries voice to
the flying symbols on "Slew Dem" it is evident that Ron Benjamin
worked tirelessly in the production and mixing of this album. The fruits of this labour
are eloquently displayed on Gracious
Mama Africa which is sure to be one of
the best roots albums of 2003.
Gracious Mama Africa is a wondrous achievement from a
tragically underexposed artist. The music, as with Fya, supplied by the
incomparable Midnite, feels a bit harder than on her debut, sticking more
strictly to a roots reggae sound. - More
Dezarie burst onto the reggae scene with her 2001 release "Fya,"
which led to her winning a "best female reggae singer of 2001" award. That album
was on the mellow side, but did a fine job of showcasing what may be the best voice in
reggae today. However, the follow-up release, "Gracious Mama Africa,"
shows a lyrical side we didn't see on her debut. The songs speak against racism, social
injustice and the iniquities of the modern world in a cutting, effective manner. - More