Third World shares the work

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 18, 2019

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It took four years to complete but reggae ambassadors Third World have finally released their much anticipated album, More Work To Be Done.

Fans of the popular band gathered at the Bob Marley Museum in St Andrew last Thursday for a listening session and launch for the project which was produced by Damian “Junior Gong” Marley for the Ghetto Youths International label. For many, the anticipation was too great as they waited to hear whether or not this new music from the iconic band would stand up against the anthems in their catalogue such as Try Jah Love, Now That We Found Love, 96 Degrees, Sense of Purpose, Forbidden Love and Committed.

The wait wasn't very long as the current members of the band Stephen “Cat “ Coore; Richie “Basie” Daley, Tony “Ruption” Williams, AJ Brown, Maurice Gregory, and Norris Webb, shared information and little anecdotes behind each track during an interactive listening and interview segment hosted by media personalities Collin Hines and Debbie Bissoon.

One of the standouts about the project is the blend of other sounds and instruments which are not germane to reggae, which have been used to create an intelligent sound and feel for the project and makes it classic Third World.

From the very first track it was clear that the history of the group had been preserved in the the sound that had made them a household name. That first cut on the album Yimmasgan, took listeners back to the band's version of the classic by The Abyssinians Satta Massagana. This track was also written by the Abyssinians and takes its title from the Amharic word meaning glory to God. This track is the only cut from this project to have been released as a single.

The collaboration with Marley as producer and songwriter yielded a number of surprising duets for the band. Reggae artiste Pressure Busspipe from the US Virgin Islands; reggae revival front-runner Chronixx, Busy Signal, Tessanne Chin, Tarrus Riley, and Marley himself all make guest appearances on the album, adding a level of diversity to the project. While Marley shares writing credits on the majority of the tracks, he was not afraid to call in his contemporaries such as deejay Cham to add layers to the overall sound of the project. Cham collaborated on the track Na Na Na, which features Chronixx.

Speaking of Marley's involvement in the project, lead vocalist AJ Brown noted that it came down to trust.

“There were times when I was wondering where a particular project was going. At a certain point I just had to say to myself 'let me trust his leadership. We all wanted the best for the project so I just had to accept that he was doing it in a different way. That is what being creative is all about,” he told the gathering.

Coore named Island Dreams which features Riley and Chin as his favourite of the set, noting the impressive vocals and lyrics both entertainers brought to the song. Other noteworthy tracks are Third World Keeps Turning, Loving is Easy and Feel Good.

The title track, More Work to be Done sums up the band's outlook. With 11 Grammy nominations and no win; the need to reach a younger segment of the market; and still more frontiers to be conquered, Third World admits that there is work burning in the fields, and this project should take them closer to achieving their goals.


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