I’m far from an expert on reggae, ska, or dancehall, or any of its related genres, so I can’t claim to know that the new album by Grammy winner Lee “Scratch” Perry is a great example of its kind, but I do know that I’m really digging it, and I usually find this kind of music annoying. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Perry, a.k.a. “The Upsetter.” He’s been doing dub for close to 40 years, inspiring Bob Marley and having worked with the likes of The Clash and Junior Murvin. This, Perry’s 54th(!) album is co-produced by Andrew W.K., which probably is part of the reason it has such a “modern” sound. You show me another artist with this many albums under his belt who is still able to make music that sounds relevant. I can’t think of one.
There’s a lot of songs on the album that stand out: The trippy “Fire”; the hot dance number “Pum Pum”; the creepy “Baby Sucker”; and my personal favorite, “Santa Claus.”