Despite all the talk about reggae, practitioners of the genre have yet to make a notable mark on the American charts. Bob Marley has been an exception and, judging by this latest release, he’s taking no chances in his effort to preserve his hit-making potential.
Kaya is as slick and bouncy as anything Jimmy Cliff ever produced, which means that those who want full-scale reggae would be well advised to bypass it in favor of The Harder They Come or the collected works of Toots and the Maytals. Though the lyrics here are below par, however, Marley has Americanized his magic with a whole lot of grace and style. And if you like your reggae without the rough edges and with a minimum of politics, this lilting set may be just what the doctor ordered. Best cut: the irresistible “Easy Skanking.”