Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Steel Pulse: Reggae Fever [Mango, 1980]
Geoffrey Chung's crystalline production, David Hinds's catchy melodies, and Selwyn Brown's straight-ahead vocals may offend those infatuated with reggae's steamy aura of ambiguity: once you get used to the abrasion of their English Jamaican, you notice that neither bass lines nor lead vocals have the tropical thickness of Jamaican Jamaican. Roots, culture, the presence of Jah--who can gainsay them? But over Rastafarianism's deep quietism I'll take the aggressive ideological edge of Hinds's politico-inspirational mode. Also the aggressive pop edge of his romantic mode. And attribute both to urban industrialism, thank you. A-