Rebirth is the first album from reggae legend Jimmy Cliff in eight years and finds him in fine form. Produced by punk rock icon Tim Armstrong, the songs possess a vitality that would be the envy of artists many years his younger.
Indeed the energy is so infectious on this record you’d be forgiven for briefly forgetting the social messages contained in his lyrics, such is the joy and upbeatedness of Cliff’s delivery and performance. Who knew being a voice of conscience could be such fun?
And while there may be an urgency and fire-in-the-belly evident in lead single “One More” or the defiance of “Rebel Rebel”, the celebratory and autobiographical “Reggae Music” and Motown-esque “Outsider” equally demonstrate his more playful side.
Mixed in with the orginal compositions are a cover of Rancid song “Ruby Soho” and The Clash’s “Guns Of Brixton” too, done of course Jimmy Cliff style. All-in-all Rebirth is a collection which will provide rich pickings for the live setlist of his current summer tour.
[4 out of 5 stars]