Any music fan should own Bunny Wailer’s Blackheart Man. It is an unbelievably soulful album full of conviction, passion, and truly great musicianship. I would easily put it in a list of greatest reggae albums of all time, but it deserves exposure with fans outside of its genre.
The playing and production are astounding. When I listen to the album I am constantly reminded of a beautiful mosaic. Lots of little pieces are put together to create a striking larger whole. The record is full of interesting musical textures. You almost feel like you could run your hands over it. This is recording as art form. It’s not simply trying to convey a message or song, but painting with sound. The keyboards alone are some of my favorite on any record. One song begins with acoustic guitar. The acoustic is manipulated ever so slightly, so that it becomes an interesting texture, something unique. It is like they left no detail unnoticed in creating this record.
Bunny Wailer’s voice is truly a beautiful thing. It’s mellow, but there is a real stoicism to it. You get the sense that he could weather any storm. When the record touches on the political, and it is a spiritually political record, he sounds like the peace he wants to see brought about. You have no doubt that Wailer will outlast any opressors. The lyrics are great, but it is really the way that they are delivered that gives them their magic.
This is the kind of record that could change conciousness. If you love soul music, music for the heart, soul, and intellect, than this is a must.
When I was just a kid, little children
My old man used to sing a little song
But now I’ve grown to be a man
But it still lingers deep within my soul
Oh yes it lingers deep within my soul
He say now this train it is bound to glory, this train
This train it is bound to glory this train, this train
This train it is bound to glory, This train it don’t carry no unholy
This train is bound to glory, this train