Album: The Congos, Back in the Black Ark (Mediacom)

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The Independent Culture

They're not really back at the Ark. It burned down in 1978.

Nevertheless there's a message in that misleading title: that the Congos are working once again with the owner of that most storied of Jamaican studios, Lee "Scratch" Perry, under whose aegis the "legendary" Heart of the Congos was made. Back... is nowhere near as good as that record but Perry has fashioned a busy 21st-century dreadscape to support the quartet's old-bloke mix of originals, cover versions and mannerism. Most of it is enjoyable.