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Zion Crossroads

Corey Harris (Telarc)

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This full-on roots-reggae disc from ostensible blues musician/cultural anthropologist Corey Harris is a natural step in his apparent mission to forge a style of African diaspora pop. The album delves deeper into the Caribbean leanings Harris explored on Daily Bread, which itself followed 2003's cross-continental Mississippi to Mali. The rhythmic insistence here does justice to the genre but not to the extent of Harris' talent. The lyrical content is as circular as the music, with plenty of familiar reggae tropes, but there's no question about the decadent empire "Babylon" in this scenario. The closing testament, though, defines the primary message of all Harris' work: "Keep Your Culture." ("In the Morning," "Walter Rodney," "Keep Your Culture")

— Chris Herrington

Grade: B+

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