2008-10-06John Brown’s Body has come a long way from my introduction to them at Bell’s Eccentric Café in 1999, at which point they were a group of skinny, kind of nerdy white kids pumping out some jaw-dropping, booty-shaking reggae thunder. Since then, their sound has matured and gained complexity. It has also taken a turn more toward the serious reggae-as-social-commentary angle – a departure from their earlier reggae-as-soundtrack-to-fun style. They’ve also added some rap lyrics (“Amplify, “Shake the Dice”). Those changes come, in part, through an overhaul of the band’s line-up. From the original members on 1996’s All Time, only drummer Tommy Benedetti and back-up vocalist (now frontman) Elliot Martin remain. Amplify is tight, well-produced and thought-provoking. It’s just not as fun as some of their older stuff. ::arthur longrapids::
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