Coming straight off of E.N Young’s record label, Roots Musician Records, the Corpus Christi, Texas band Proof of Life has released their first EP Free Your Mind. Taking elements of reggae and dub, Proof of Life is an excellent example of a modern meets traditional reggae band. They have provided us with an album that is both a meditation of the past and a reflection on the present sound of reggae. Free Your Mind is packed with classic roots reggae and modern dub, perfect for those who appreciate all aspects of reggae!
“Free Your Mind” is packed with classic roots reggae and modern dub…
Songs like “Free Your Dub” and “Stay Dubbin” are dubbed versions of singles, “Free Your Mind” and ” Stay Blessed” (respectively), providing listeners an alternative way to experience their tracks with added layers of sound. Both songs are best described, as dub legend King Tubby would say, “Like a volcano in your head.” The first self-titled track, “Free Your Mind”, opens with a boasting horn section, classic guitar reggae riddims, claves with additional panoramic delay (typically used in dub songs) – all creating a combination of reggae fusion. What really sets this song apart is the flute solo, an element not typically heard in many reggae songs. The lyrics are more aligned with traditional roots reggae, with references of “Jah”, consciousness and ganja: “Free, free your mind // the healing of this nation // Free, free your mind// the healing of this creation”.
“Stay Blessed” is the lead single from their EP, which is became available prior to EP release with any pre-order. Out of all of their songs, this track is closer to root reggae, with references to the Rastafari movement. “Yes, the righteous one will hear the call, so give faith in Jah and knock down the walls”; these lyrics are various examples of how Proof of Life stays close to their inspirations. Songs like “Ganja” and “Sweet Love” are light-hearted, fun songs, great to listen to while lighting up with some friends. The former stands as a tribute to classic reggae with busts of electric guitar and keyboard with the additional fluttery flute melody. The lyrics, “Don’t roll it up too tight // fire it up // BOOM // Pass it to the right” reminds us of the classic reggae song, “Pass the Dutchie”. After listening to this track, you are going to want to try some Sensimilla! “Sweet Love” opens up like a classic Beres Hammond love song. Like many love songs, “Sweet Love” has a nice melody with catchy lyrics “give it to me nice and slow”. This song has elements of jazz, with wailing echoing guitar and an analog delay to give a dub feel. Last song on the list is “Island Vibes”, featuring fellow Roots Musician artist Kwamevi.
Free Your Mind is filled with positivity, good vibrations and good riddim. If you are ever looking for an album to free yourself from the burdens of everyday slumber, put this album on and “free your mind”. Proof of Life’s new EP is now available everywhere music is streamed and downloaded, so visit the links below to check it out today!
Purchase or stream Free Your Mind EP:
- Free Your Mind
- Island Vibes (feat. Kwamevi)
- Stay Blessed
- Sweet Love
- Free Your Dub
- Stay Dubbin
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.