Reggae: everybody knows it and everybody loves it. 10 Ft. Ganja Plant is a roots reggae band. Since 1999 they’ve been producing album after album. Their love for music has fueled them to constantly write, and here we are in 2013 with their latest album, Skycatcher. Needless to say, with a bit more than a decade under their belt, the band is highly experienced. One listen will fool you into thinking they’re an early reggae band, they’re that good. Skycatcher is a testament to this statement.
The album starts out with a semi-psychedelic, heavy reggae feel. “In The Garden,” slowly builds itself, adding more and more instrumentation as each second passes. It’s an instrumental piece that acts like an overture. Once you’ve been lured in, the band wastes no time getting to business. The second track, “It’s True,” features everything you could want in a reggae song. Things get better and better with each passing moment. It doesn’t take long to fall prey to 10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s magic.
Skycatcher is filled with nasty bass licks and powerful lyrics. The fifth track, “State of Man,” comes to mind in particular. A deep bass sounds off with a smooth melody while the guitars chime in on the offbeat. Shortly into the song, a falsetto voice enters, “What is the state of man? Worry.” The singing continues, outlining the conflict centered world of day. It’s general, people are killing people, but it’s truth. It’s the sort of social/political criticism that reggae is known for.
10 Ft. Ganja Plant isn’t always super serious though. The band takes the time to do a more sentimental piece here and there. “Sing and Dance” is a wonderful little love songs of sorts. The mood picks up a bit, and the lyrics come out in a sweet tone. “You don’t know how I feel about you, girl –in my world there’s nothing to compare. Like a light in the darkness, you’re all I see;” is paired with a more relaxed, more fun, “So if you want, take my hand, come along, we can sing and dance all night.” The album features a few instrumental pieces as well. “Sounding Zone” is a song that starts with echoing horns. The bass works its way in, along side some bongos. When the horn plays, it’s with a soulful, jazzy feel that captivates you.
The Plant constantly gives a feeling of, “Yeah, that’s reggae.” Skycatcher is so perfectly crafted, it sounds like a classic right out of the 70’s. Of course to some people, this may give more of a dated feeling, but let’s stay positive. The album plays it safe, but in doing so, each and every song is on the dot, exactly what you want.
Summer is coming to an end, and for those of us in the colder parts of the world, that means runny noses, shivering, and dead leaves everywhere. 10 Ft. Ganja Plant has thankfully released one last pick-me-up of sorts –a perfect reggae album, much needed, and much appreciated. Song after song, from the bass to the vocals to the guitar and horns, you find yourself absorbed in the music. Skycatcher is without a doubt, an absolute must listen for reggae fans.