John Brown’s Body thrives on ‘Pressure’

By Chris Higgs

John Brown’s Body is a group of the world music genre comprised of eight men out of New York and Massachusetts who stay true to the roots of reggae.

JBB, as the group is commonly referred, has been touring for a de?cade and has released five albums. The latest of these albums, Pressure Points (2005), is a must-have for any fan of reggae, world or dub, or anyone just looking for a good collaboration of rhythm, harmony and melody.
After listening to the first song entitled “Bread,” one can really get a feel for the treat they are in for throughout the rest of the al?bum. With a steady-flowing and deep bass line, soothing vocals and prominent horns, JBB almost puts the listener in a trance-like state with positive vibes and rhythmic flow. After track one the hits just keep on coming.

Proceeding on to tracks such as “Blazing Love,” “New Blood,” “Resonate” and “Follow Into Shad?ow,” it is easy to see JBB prides itself in combining unique lyrics, harmonic vocals and a medley of horns with intricate bass guitar and hard-hitting bass drum to produce a highly original sound.

Although redundant at times with the lyrics as seen in “Make it Easy” and “What We Gonna Do,” John Brown’s Body still emits a sound very different from the com?monly known reggae of Bob Mar?ley and Lee Scratch Perry, yet sticks to the guidelines these pioneers of music have left for us.

The highlight of the album is track nine entitled “Not Enough.” The song begins with soft vocals and a short series of drum solos, but then drops into what seems like a trance-like chant. The vocals are slow and harmonic. The horns are infrequent yet mighty. The drum and bass are the reason the listener is tapping his/her feet in time with the rhythm.

Senior Kevin West spoke highly of John Brown’s Body for the album review.

“I’m pretty into reggae and dub, and it’s nice to hear something different than Bob Marley,” West said. “I recommend this album to anyone looking for a good, original sound.”

Pressure Points, or any other of John Brown’s Body’s music, can be found in any music store, online, through iTunes or at www.john? Do your ears a favor and check it out.