‘Red’ is the new Irie

Gonzo, a musician bouncing around the reggae-rock scene, has put his Red album out into circulation. With this sophomore album comes irie vibes and a Rhythm-and-Blues sound we haven’t heard in a while! Sure, Gonzo is known as the “Sade of Reggae” and it appears he is keeping up his key sound with roots inspired music. The album is produced by Roots Musician Records so the influence of skanking keys is apparent, and makes this album roots-reggae worthy!

With this sophomore album comes irie vibes and a Rhythm-and-Blues sound we haven’t heard in a while!

The first song on the Red album goes into a pretty irie start. By this we mean, as the song “Fallin” slowly gets into its rhythm, it takes the listener to a voyage of how the rest of the album will go- give or take. The lyrics show off Gonzo’s key R&B vocals which suits his reggae music given the history of R&B music as an influence to reggae. E.N Young is featured on the first track, and perhaps it’s due to E.N’s signature sound heard throughout the album.

The next tracks show off some well-produced reggae heavily influenced by keys, including the melodica. Bass guitar playing really goes into effect in the song, “Runnin” as lyrics mention both the bass line and So. Cal. living. The album gets more irie with “Highway” and “Miss Mary,” continuing good use of keys and bass as the album peps up too. What sounds like experimental music with guitar and reverb from the bass comes in with “Roots Woman” as Gonzo style vocals and instrumental keys continue with that classic reggae sound. The last song, “Roots It Up” is a treat with guest vocalist, Koa.

Overall, the album is suited for those heavy hitters who enjoy dub, roots-reggae, and R&B style vocals. Not a bad album for an irie-sounding start, and finish, let’s just say!

Preview and download Red from

Track listing

  1. Fallin (feat. E.N Young)
  2. Good Lovin (feat. Beyond I Sight)
  3. Runnin’
  4. Couldn’t Take My Love (feat. Pedro)
  5. Highway
  6. Ms. Mary (feat. Beyond I Sight)
  7. Roots Woman (feat. E.N Young)
  8. Give It Up
  9. Roots It Up (feat. Koa)

Gonzo “Couldn’t Take My Love” (Ft. Pedro of True Press)

Released June 3, 2014 • Roots Musician Records

Share this article


Become a Patron

Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

Get music updates in your inbox

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments