Picks and Pans Review: Conscious Party

updated 05/30/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/30/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

Everybody wants to get into the act. Here we are knee-deep in the second generation of rock, with sons of musical stars from John Lennon to Ike Turner to Frank Zappa all putting out albums. So far genetics hasn't necessarily seemed to be a determining factor in whether the sons show musical ability. Reggae great Bob Marley's 19-year-old son Ziggy, for instance, may not have inherited the whole cloth of his late father's talent. But this enjoyable record indicates that Ziggy has enough going for him to at least sustain a viable career. The Jamaican youth writes ingenuously idealistic, religiously rooted lyrics (Rastafarian, mon). He has a nice, unforced vocal delivery, which is usually pretty talky. And when he does burst completely into song, as on Lee and Molly, there is a catchy stone-washed quality to his voice. In Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, he's made an odd choice of producers for this album, but they do a notable job of retaining the slinky resonance of Ziggy's reggae compositions. Frantz and Weymouth even impart a nice Son of Flubber buoyancy to the aural mood that recalls their own work together in Tom Tom Club. Certain songs, such as We Propose, can even stand with any reggae music put out this year. The younger Marley, unlike some of his coevals, does his name proud. (Virgin)

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