Consumer Guide Album
Black Star Liner: Reggae from Africa [Heartbeat, 1983]
Because the great African groove is airborne where the Jamaican is of the earth, bass-and-drums on this seven-artist, eight-cut compilation do little more than follow standard patterns, and the chantlike tunes remind you how much Jamaican melodies owe to English hymns and nursery rhymes. But that's in no way to suggest that this music isn't captivating on its own terms. The vocals bear the same yearning relationship to their more stylized Jamaican inspirations that Jamaican vocals do to the showier models of U.S. soul: the need to reach out to the black diaspora has rarely been more palpable. And the lyrics, all in English, explain some whys and wherefores.