Picks and Pans Review: One Bright Day

updated 08/14/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/14/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

Making records is like dating. The first one usually goes pretty easy. You can glide by on charm. It's the second time around that you find out what's what and if there's any future in the relationship.

Get ready to go steady with Ziggy Marley. The precocious 20-year-old son of the late reggae great Bob Marley has staying power. His second album, One Bright Day, is a little more sober and studded with concerns about social and Rastafarian issues than his first. But if it is less festive than Conscious Party, it is also brisker and sharper musically. The reggae grooves on such songs as "Justice" and "When the Lights Gone Out" (especially in the echoing reprise of this song, which closes the album) are so tight and resilient, you could drop a dime on them and the coin would bounce. Ziggy also presents some provocatively progressive melodic strains, as on "Problems" and the percolating title track, which extend reggae further than any band since Black Uhuru. There are a few throwaways, like "Urban Music" and "Give It All You Got," but even these are rendered with verve.

Based on two albums, it's still too early to get betrothed to the guy, but Ziggy is showing every sign of growing into his legacy. (Virgin)

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