Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

Culture: Two Sevens Clash: The 30th Anniversary Edition [Shanachie, 2007]
Two Sevens Clash may have been the best reggae LP ever released--Bob Marley himself never constructed one so perfect beginning to end. Though much is made of its political content, it's really a Rastafarian gospel album. "The wicked must fall," Hill declares right off, and "Pirate Days" attributes Babylon's power to its lawlessness. But that song's most striking line, "The Arawak the Arawak the Arawak were here first," is an argument that black men don't belong in Jamaica--an argument for the promised return to Africa. In "Natty Dread Taking Over," "Fire 'pon dem" invokes not gunplay but the Book of Revelation, and celebrating the Black Starliner Garvey predicted would bring the faithful back to Africa, Hill avers: "I meekly wait and murmur not." Proof of deliverance is in the music. This was Jamaican drum titan Sly Dunbar's first major session, with Lloyd Parks on bass and Robbie Shakespeare on guitar, and the tunes are memorable and uplifting without exception. Yet even on the childish "Jah Pretty Face," the flinty, soursop edge of Hill's incantation sands off what's left of the sing-song after the harsh close trio harmonies have done their work. Its bonus cuts worthy archival remixes, this reissue is reordered to conform to the original Jamaican release, timed to coincide with Armagideon time--July 7 of 1977, the year the two sevens clashed. [Rolling Stone: 5]