Album: Jimmy Cliff, Rebirth (Trojan/UMC)

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The Independent Culture

Well, yes. Rebirth. Jimmy Cliff has been reborn as exactly the same person he was 40 years ago, when his high-energy skank and wail adumbrated the Marley breakthrough into mainstream tastes: Cliff was a sort of reggae John the Baptist.

If only we all wore so well. And while there is nothing here which startles, the spirit of the music is vivid. Cover versions abound (only "Guns of Brixton" disappoints); the atmosphere crackles.