Album: How They Move
Release Date: August 19, 2010
Any time I listen to reggae, it’s easy for me to get lost in the rhythms of the drums and guitars, and lend more of my attention to the sound of the music and the feelings it brings instead of what the music and the vocals may or may not be trying to say.
Due to circumstances I found myself in when I first listened to Akasha‘s How They Move, I nearly experienced this same thing.
For the past week, I’ve spent a good amount of my time at the beach. The sun was out. The waves were crashing. And sand, you know, found a way to stick itself all over my body.
With all that going on around me, of course I was left with little choice but to defer to the ways in which I typically read reggae.
But then I paid closer attention to the lyrics in How They Move, and came to realize that Akasha sings about real things, and hard truths. There’s lots of soul — and the same goes for passion — within the five tracks we get here.
I was particularly taken by the first track, “Wake Up.” Actually, the album’s title is embedded within the song’s lyrics.
For me, “Wake Up” is built around the idea of our country’s push to democratize other nations — and its unwillingness to entertain other forms of government. Cosmos says he knows we feel frightened by “how they move with all their stealthy silence.”
Do you see their lightning? We’re prisoners of their war. All around the world, my people feel their pain.
He then beckons everybody to “wake up,” to maybe take note in the way America does business. It’s certainly something I’ve heard before — by other musicians even — yet Cosmos’ vocals add extra punch to the idea.
The track that follows it, “One Man Rises,” also carries political weight. This one, however, seems to be about capitalism, and how we’re oftentimes blinded — or as Cosmos belts, “conveniently forgetting” — that “as one man rises, another man falls.”
Yet not everything on How They Move maintains a serious undertone. A few instances, like in “Ooh U Got Me,” Akasha loosens up to sing about — what else? — women. Or better yet, one particularly striking seductress whose got the right smile, style, shake and rock ‘n’ roll.
How They Move is an honest record with what I think to be a lot of meaning. And, thanks to Akasha’s rich reggae sound, it’s made all the more easier to listen to.
- Akasha, based in Chicago, is comprised of Cosmos Ray (vox), Doug Bistrow (bass/vox), Scott Moss (guitar/vox), John Barbush (drums) and Shane Jonas (keys/trumpet, vox).
- How They Move can be streamed in its entirety on Akasha’s MySpace page.
- Akasha will play a record release show on Thursday at Beat Kitchen. Tickets are $7.
- Purchase Akasha’s self-titled debut EP at CD Baby. The CD sells for $8, and the mp3 download is $4.95.