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Unchained Spirit

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Amoruso
More than any ragga artist with the respect of Jamaican youth, Buju Banton has minted anthemic dancehall. His imperatives "Jah, give I strength, Never let I fail" from Inna Heights and Til Shiloh's "Murderer! Blood is on your shoulders. Kill I today, you cannot kill I tomorrow" are imprinted upon the consciousness of the young and the underclass, both blessing and burdening Buju to bear their standard. Unchained Spirit, his debut on the punk rock label Epitaph, is Buju's most ambitious blueprint to date and something of a departure. Here the once-controversial Banton has loosed his spirit, revealing a tenderness, even vulnerability; remaining righteous, he slips away ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Amoruso
More than any ragga artist with the respect of Jamaican youth, Buju Banton has minted anthemic dancehall. His imperatives "Jah, give I strength, Never let I fail" from Inna Heights and Til Shiloh's "Murderer! Blood is on your shoulders. Kill I today, you cannot kill I tomorrow" are imprinted upon the consciousness of the young and the underclass, both blessing and burdening Buju to bear their standard. Unchained Spirit, his debut on the punk rock label Epitaph, is Buju's most ambitious blueprint to date and something of a departure. Here the once-controversial Banton has loosed his spirit, revealing a tenderness, even vulnerability; remaining righteous, he slips away some from dancehall and explores more world music, ska, and rock. "Poor Old Man," a reggae ballad, touches poignantly the loneliness of old age, and his riff on the 23rd Psalm, with Morgan Heritage's Gramps, is truly spiritual. At the same time, there are still ragga rhymes. "Guns and Bombs" and "Woman Dem Phat" sit squarely back in the dance hall, representing the latter-day Banton's antiviolence imperatives and his unchained devotions to foxy women. "Law and Order" is Marley-esque Bob's a clear inspiration throughout made spare and immediate by abbreviated electronics and compelling polyrhythms. "We'll Be Allright," with crooner Luciano, poops out as pap, but a new version of Beres Hammond's "Pull It Up" sends a bouncing, infectious tune into the stratosphere: The pair remain one of dancehall's best combinations. Unchained Spirit has delivered Buju from the flames of righteous indignation to the hearth of righteousness. It may be, for some, a disquieting quiet, but Buju's fierce, uplifting spirit remains strong.
All Music Guide - M.F. DiBella
The once controversial Buju Banton, vilified for his anti-homosexual sentiments on his early single "Boom Bye Bye" and for his typically violent and slack dancehall, artistically turned the corner in 1995 with the release of the conscious and wistful Til Shiloh. The follow-up in 1998, Inna Heights, was equally spiritual and devoid of negativity. The third installment in this awakening is Unchained Spirit, released in September of 2000: a vital and rhythmic mix of homegrown Jamaican philosophy, biblical harmonizing, and just plain eerie dancehall. Banton sets the album off with a slow chant of "Psalm 23," giving the album a spiritual center with which the rest radiates. The stunning duet with the silk-throated Luciano, "We'll Be Alright," is simply a beautiful song as is "Pull It Up," Banton's duet with elder dancehall crooner Beres Hammond. Political and social themes abound in tracks like "Sudan," "Law & Order," and "Guns & Bombs," but, to round things off a bit, Banton returns to his roots with an ode to the females, "Women Dem Phat." There is even an ambitious experimental collaboration with ska-punk band Rancid on "No More Misty Days." While not without its dull moments, this album favors heavy rotation. Banton's vocal ability is filled with depth and soulful texture that invite the listener to accompany him on his spiritual journey. His music speaks to enlightenment and wisdom and appeals to peace and positivity. Banton is the rare contemporary artist who uses his medium to uplift with messages of love, peace, and justice. The chorus from "Pull It Up" encapsulates this listening experience: "Pull up da vibes that you're playing/Can you play some more?" Yes Banton, please play some more.
Rolling Stone - Ben Ratliff
Unchained Spirit combines growly, spitfire-patois dance hall, acoustic guitars and sighing choruses, straight old-school ska, and anthemic folk rock...

Unchained Spirit combines growly, spitfire-patois dance hall, acoustic guitars and sighing choruses, straight old-school ska, and anthemic folk rock...
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/22/2000
  • Label: Anti
  • UPC: 045778658015
  • Catalog Number: 86580
  • Sales rank: 210,698

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Intro (0:39)
  2. 2 23rd Psalms - Gramps Of Morgan Heritage (5:44)
  3. 3 Voice of Jah - LMS (5:01)
  4. 4 Sudan (4:41)
  5. 5 We'll Be Alright - Luciano (4:24)
  6. 6 Pull It Up - Beres Hammond (4:09)
  7. 7 Life Is a Journey (4:07)
  8. 8 Better Must Come (4:12)
  9. 9 Mighty Dread (5:01)
  10. 10 Poor Old Man - Stephen Marley (4:26)
  11. 11 Law & Order (3:51)
  12. 12 Guns & Bombs (3:20)
  13. 13 Woman Dem Phat (3:16)
  14. 14 No More Misty Days - Rancid (4:01)
  15. 15 Pull It Up - Beres Hammond (2:56)
  16. 16 Reunion (4:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Buju Banton Primary Artist
Wayne Wonder Track Performer
Beres Hammond Track Performer
Stephen Marley Track Performer
Luciano Track Performer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    23RD PSALM

    BUJU BANTON- UNCHAINED SPIRIT CD, IS ONE OF HIS BEST EVER! HE SHOW A RELIGIOUS SIDE OF HIM THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE OF. MANY PEOPLE KNOW BUJU AS DANCEHALL DJ THAT SING HOT DANCEHALL REGGAE MUSIC.BUJU HAS CHANGE HIS STYLE,AND STILL GIVE THE FANS THE MUSIC THAT THEY LIKE. BUJU IS ONE OF JAMAICA'S GREATEST SINGER.I MUST SAY HE'S THE NEXT BOB MARLEY.I MEET BUJU IN PERSON HE'S A DOWN TO EARTH PERSON; VERY FRIENDLY AND CASUAL. LOVE A.L

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews