Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tanya Stephens - Rebelution

Yes, I know this album came out last year, yes I know I missed the boat… but better late than never. Rebelution is a cohesive 20-track album with barely any filler, which is a surprise for a commercial dancehall full-length. The music is fairly generic rootsy dancehall, mostly mellow and laid-back, with a slight R&B feel. However what sets this apart from other albums in this genre are the lyrics, which are slowly making this my favorite album in recent years, and also making Tanya my new favorite singer.

Every song tells a story, most of which share the theme of female empowerment, whether it’s personal, social, or sexual. This is an album that would serve better closely-listened as opposed to a background album. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear many clever verses weaved over the riddims that will make you reflect and think, and some witty one-liners that will make you chuckle. One of the most moving tracks is Do You Still Care, which is reminiscent thematically to Alanis Morissette’s Ironic - if the irony was a dying Klansman who’s only hope of survival was a liver from a black man, or a homophobic thug dying in the street, being found and saved by a homosexual. Makes you think, in times of desperation, if any of these trivialities really matter. This kind of subject matter and wordplay permeates the entire album, and I could cite many more examples, but it’s best to leave it open for your own enjoyment.

The album also includes a 40-minute DVD containing an unplugged performance of some of the songs from this album and her previous album Gangsta Blues, which I also hope to pick up soon. The stripped down versions of the songs further highlight the lyrics, and are interspersed with interview bits with Tanya and her producers in the studio. It’s a great deal and well worth purchasing, and I’m hoping she continues to release quality music, and maybe even tours in the near future.

Check out for more info and sound clips.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?