Picks and Pans Review: Dragonfly

updated 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Ziggy Marley (Private)

He may be his father's son, but Ziggy Marley roams far from his reggae roots on his first solo album after 18 years recording with the Melody Makers. Bob Marley's oldest son, now 34, dabbles in pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B and folk on this eclectic effort, while also incorporating Latin, Middle Eastern and African sounds. The result is a CD that, though reggae-based, defies classification. Purists may be surprised to hear Marley collaborating with producer Scott Litt (R.E.M.) and jamming with Red Hot Chili Peppers Flea and John Frusciante as well as Incubus deejay Chris Kilmore, but the artist should win over new fans by thinking outside of Jamaica. The disc's title track is a breezy, acoustic-guitar-laced ditty on which Marley imagines the deterioration of the environment through the eyes of a dragonfly. "Shalom Salaam" is a more straight-ahead reggae number, addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Marley also takes a stand against theological warfare on "In the Name of God," proclaiming that "all religion should be wiped out."

BOTTOM LINE: Ziggy earns his solo wings

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