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Congo Ashanti

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 25, 2003
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Days Chasing Days
  2. Jackpot
  3. Hail the Word of Jah
  4. Education of Brainwashing
  5. Youth Man
  6. Yoyo
  7. Nana
  8. Thief Is in the Vineyard
  9. Music Maker
  10. Music Dub
  11. Feast of the Passover
  12. Feast Dub


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 25, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2004
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blood & Fire Records
  • ASIN: B0000DBKH4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The re-release of the Congos' previous album, Heart of the Congos, prompted many to hail it as the best reggae album of all time. Blood and Fire wisely followed that up with a precisely remastered reissue of "Congo Ashanti". By then, however, it had been taken for granted by many that the Congos either disbanded after HotC or that the quality of their releases did not and could not equal the perfection of HotC. I believe this perception to be wrong for many reasons. Congo Ashanti is a much more lyrically mature album than HotC, with a much darker, more spiritual feel and several outright masterpieces (especially Jackpot and Nana). Where HotC was light and bouncy in places, quirky and strange in others, and somewhat inconsistent in its message, Congo Ashanti is straightforward and consistent in its message of social justice. Buy this for every serious reggae fan you know.
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Format: Audio CD
The previous reviewer does a good job of braking down the situation that characterizes the conception, recording, and acceptance of this album by The Congos. However, despite Lee Perry's absence from the controls, I consider this a very underrated album that deserves a careful listen. Cedric Myton is well known for his near-flawless falsetto and it is showcased here along with more traditional voicings in a way that fascinates me as a listener. He effortlessly shifts back and forth between singing styles from one verse to the next and sometimes even in the same line. Songs like "Jackpot," "Hail The World of Jah," "Days Chasing Days," and "Thief Is In The Vineyard" are exceptional and the others aren't bad either. While "Heart Of The Congos" is essential to any reggae collection, this album is worth buying if you are interested in the next best effort from a legendary artist. If Lee Perry had produced it, I imagine that it could have rivaled its predecessor.
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Format: Audio CD
"Congo Ashanti" was the 1st lp the trio did after leaving Lee "Scratch" Perry's Blark Ark label after disputes over royalties and poor circulation of their now classic "Heart of the Congos" lp (a very common, sad tale in the music industry).
Columbia records snatched the trio up and from it came this lp. While it has nice moments, it has a very glossy, slick feel about it that is common to big label releases in any genre, and thus lost part of its credibility in the reggae community.
Regardless, there was little way the band without Perry's studio guidance could have come close to matching the power of their prior effort- and Perry mused that even with his help there was little chance...he knew that "Heart of the Congos" was magic.
I like many of the songs on here despite having to get over the studio dumbfoolery of over-compression and the like to make their songs ready for the radio. While I should give this review fewer than 3 stars, i can not do so based on my love of this trio, and respect for what they tried to accomplish under horrific odds.
This lp is for the more rabid fan.
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Format: Audio CD
If you like the classic "Heart of the Congos" album, you need to pick this up. Too bad about the lame cover art...Sorry to break it to all you cats that think Lee "Scratch" Perry is some supreme-exalted Producer (of course he has lots of brilliant stuff) but there's lots of talented reggae musicians and studio techs, just because they don't have name recognition doesn't mean they don't lay it down first class! This album is hot, Cedric's vocals are passionate and soulful, the band is super tight. Check out the vocals on "Youth Man" and "Nana", this is roots reggae, it does not have the kind of spacey, atmospheric, and in my opinion, over-produced sound of "Heart of the Congos." I don't disparage this "slick" sound like others might, this is a band that was progressing, the idea that they moved on from working with Scratch and "lost credibility within the reggae world" is garbage. Don't be fooled by equating fame with brilliance. This album is brilliant, if you're looking to strengthen your collection and explore some new, classic roots, look no further. Peace.
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