Thursday
Nov182010

Collection of "Hope and Doubt" Reviews

 

Reggae-Reviews.com

"There have been an unusually large number of impressive reggae releases over the past few months, so to say that Hope & Doubt is one of the best reggae releases of the year is saying something. Weekes is an amazing talent who delivers an astonishing debut. Hope & Doubt is how roots reggae should be done; listen at cdbaby, then buy."

World Music Central

"His sort of reggae is built around a longstanding roots-style framework, with tidy production values and a crisp rhythmic bounce that matches well with Weekes’ warm, mildly urgent voice and knack for melodic and lyrical hooks. Hope & Doubt brings reggae to the mainstream in a way that readily bespeaks Bob Marley- not about to compromise commercially though readily embracing all with ears to hear." Tom Orr

JahWorks.org

"Wow, this album is seductive. I don’t know from what sweet garden of delights those tunes were harvested, but they sure are tasty and rich in nutrients. The arrangements and the musicianship are a joy as well, making emphatic use of horns, organ, and especially the lyrical, Knopfler-influenced lead guitar." Ted Boothroyd

The Beat

"If ever there was a band that absorbed the roots rocking throb of the Wailers Band it would have to be Taj Weekes and Adowa on their debut disc Hope & Doubt."

Garage Band

"Part lover, part mystic agitator, part aggrieved spokesman, this acute observer of the human carnival has crafted a work that signals a seismic shift in the future of reggae music. An inspired work of uncommon verve. Audacious and original, it shines like a beacon among the gray of contemporary reggae."

NiceUp.com

"His sound is a rich and pleasing mix of roots reggae flavors... Recommended."

Music Shopper

"Rarely does an album feel warm and familiar from the first listen, but Taj Weekes & Adowa's debut effort, Hope & Doubt, gently integrates it's magic into your bloodstream from the word go. And unlike most albums that quickly endear themselves to you, this long player will keep you coming back for more long after your first cherished encounter. It really won't matter whether you are a big fan of reggae or not. For music that honest, positive, reflective, realistic and rich, you're going to have to search hard to find anything to top this."

Sunday
Nov182007

Taj Weekes & Adowa: Hope & Doubt

GARAGE BAND

From the errant radio signals wafting over the Caribbean basin came waves of divergent musical styles; from calypso to country and western, rock n roll to rhythm and blues - an eclectic confluence that permeated the air of West Indian life. In the West Indies of the 1970s, this witches brew of sound formed the soundtrack to the turbulent cultural and social shifts, namely, the nascent Rastafarian movement. Restless youth and the threat of political violence hung like a shadow over such times. From these conflicting and coalescing currents a musical original was born, Taj Weekes.

It has been a musical odyssey that has taken Taj from the shores of the Caribbean to Canada and now to New York City. A magical pilgrimage that has all come together in spellbinding fashion with the release of his first album Hope & Doubt. Part lover, part mystic agitator, part aggrieved spokesman, this acute observer of the human carnival has crafted a work that signals a seismic shift in the future of reggae music. 

An inspired work of uncommon verve. Audacious and original, it shines like a beacon among the gray of contemporary reggae.

Thursday
Nov152007

Taj Weekes & Adowa: Hope & Doubt

JAHWORKS.ORG - THE BOOT BOX

Album review by: Ted "The Boot" Boothroyd 

Boots Rating System: A
[A= Absolutely neccessary. Acquire this album immediately, using any legal means.] 

Wow, this album is seductive. I listened several times at first without reacting strongly. Pleasant tunes, I thought. Kind of an odd singing voice, sounds like a woman or girl. Solid reggae music, for sure. But over the next few hearings I came to appreciate it more, and then more, and finally here I am completely seduced.

The songwriting is amazing. I don’t know from what sweet garden of delights those tunes were harvested, but they sure are tasty and rich in nutrients. The arrangements and the musicianship are a joy as well, making emphatic use of horns, organ, and especially the lyrical, Knopfler-influenced lead guitar. And as for that odd quality in the lead vocals, well, it’s a husky tenor, bittersweet, slightly plaintive, reminiscent of Boy George. The lyrics aren’t all great, but they do contain some unique and arresting images (“we scream out mellow lullabies,” for example).

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov102007

Hope & Doubt : Alpha Pocket, 2006

REGGAE-REVIEWS.COM

There have been an unusually large number of impressive reggae releases over the past few months, so to say that Hope & Doubt is one of the best reggae releases of the year is saying something. Hailing from St. Lucia and now based in New York City, Weekes is an amazing talent who delivers an astonishing debut. It has a classic, poised, natural roots vibe, unconcerned with trying to sound hip or trying to cram 20 tracks into one album. Weekes' singing voice is strikingly original: mellow, folksy, and high-pitched (I admit that it took me a couple of listens to realize that it wasn't a woman singing.) -- yet with a slight Marley-esque rasp that adds just the right amount of edge. His lyrics are introspective and melancholy (as exemplified by titles like Sad, Jagged, Cold, and Blue) with uncommon poetic beauty, and the music, performed by backing band Adowa and produced by Weekes himself, is a full-bodied roots treat. The overall sound is somewhat akin to African roots reggae (not surprising, since he is of Ethiopian descent), with its bouncy organs and horns, a bluesy touch (using electric guitars and vocal repetition), and harmonizing female background vocals (reflecting the heavy Marley influence on the continent's music).  Hope & Doubt is how roots reggae should be done; listen at cdbaby.com, then buy.  

Friday
Nov092007

Abundant Reggae Riches

WORLDMUSICCENTRAL.ORG

Album review by: Tom Orr 

Of Ethiopian heritage but hailing from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Taj Weekes is presently based in New York City with his band Adowa. His sort of reggae is built around a longstanding roots-style framework, with tidy production values and a crisp rhythmic bounce that matches well with Weekes’ warm, mildly urgent voice and knack for melodic and lyrical hooks. Hope & Doubt brings reggae to the mainstream in a way that readily bespeaks Bob Marley- not about to compromise commercially though readily embracing all with ears to hear. Songs like Scream Out Mellow, MPLA and Life are deep but everyman-like expressions of consciousness that flow easily while providing ample food for thought. 

Also highly recommended.