Get It In Your Mind is Bushman's strongest album for a while.
Angus Taylor 2008-03-11
Known as 'The Man From The East', St Thomas Jamaica's Bushman has built up a solid following among fans of 'nu-roots' since the late-1990s. His rich voice has earned him comparisons with that of Dennis Brown (an acknowledged influence) but is somewhat lower in pitch; a booming bass-baritone that is at home in all forms of reggae song.
His sixth album Get It In Your Mind, released on his own Burning Bushes label, contains several singles from recent years. But despite being a mixed bag of recordings for different producers, it hangs together nicely due to the predominance of serious and cultural themes, as well as some wise rhythm choices.
Bushman begins with a mission statement, the declarative Singing My Song, on the marching, guitar driven Undeniable rhythm. Second track Rasta Nuh Dead rides the authentic late-seventies-sounding Good Times and, like other cuts on the rhythm by Capleton and Lutan Fyah, is heavily mystical in its lyrical imagery; Jah ''in the whirlwind, riding on the cherubim'', and the Tolkienesque ''my people gazing at the skies for something they’ll never find''.
Even when singing love themes, the mood remains grave. On Scent Of A Man, penned by Stephen (son of Joe) Gibbs, Bushman catches his lover creeping into the room after an indiscretion, over another dark rootsy rhythm (Gibbs' State Of Emergency). Later the redemptive When You Touch Me measures his joy at being in love against the litany of mishaps that came before.
A cover of Peter Tosh's disco-dread call-to-civil-disobedience Buk-In-Hamm Palace stays close to the original, but does it no disservice, while Can't Get The Best Of Me and Born Fi Di Ting, marry dancehall beats and Rasta concerns with exemplary ease.
The sheer number of vocal overdubs on certain tracks may take some getting used to, and a few synth settings may sound soulless to lovers of old school roots. But on the plus side, there are no 'skits' between the songs, just excerpts from interviews that bear up to repeat listening. All in all, Get It In Your Mind is Bushman's strongest album for a while.