EDWARD II – Dancing Tunes (E2JAM 1905)

Dancing TunesWelcome to the party!  Full on into the swaying of Jamaican dance music!

Jamaican music is rooted in the West Indian Mento and Calypso, and this album hits the right spot from the beginning.  Cheers the soul in these strange times.

Traditionally this area of music has storytelling lyrics of slavery, manual labour work songs, rum swigging, sunshine and coastal waters in days gone by.  This can be mirrored in beer coal and smoggy northern cities in the UK years ago.

Some tunes on this album, particularly the first track – ‘Banana Boat Song’ – gets the feet tapping straight away.  I was in the car when first heard the album and it makes great driving music!  ‘Yellow Bird’ is given the Edward II treatment and works perfectly as does ‘Island In The Sun’.  I know all three from my childhood!

Sad Jamaican folk songs on the album like ‘Cordelia Brown’, couple of bouncy tunes and dub mixes at the end.  The album cover says ten but there are actually thirteen tracks, so don’t stop at ten!  Edward II have given these Jamaican tunes their own take and have worked alongside dub producer Paul ‘Lush’ Morris of Nucleus Roots to recreate a British urban dub sound, using drum machines and beats intertwined with live performances and instrumentation which gives the bands unique style.

The album contains lots of brass, keyboards, melodeons, drums, guitars and great vocals.  A true dance band and great to see live as I had the pleasure of doing a few years ago and never forgot them.

Dancing Tunes is a fabulous album to cheer the soul and then dance away on the beach in the summer!

Jean Camp

Artists’ website: www.edwardthesecond.co.uk

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