By David Ramos
Lately I’ve been listening to Damian Marley’s, “Welcome to Jamrock,” a rediscovered cut on Paul Oakenfold’s Cremefields album called “First Sight” by Duran & Aytek, Dredg’s, “Bug Eyes,” and the Salsa classic, “Ven Devorame Otra Vez” by Lalo Rodriguez. Not quite a diet of Praise and Worship, but hey, I’ll own my musical aberrations as well as my multiplicity of genres.
Damian Marley, son of Bob Marley has a successful hit with “Welcome to Jamrock,” where he describes the social and political violence facing Jamaica. We are seeing a rising star take upon himself the torch of a great legend and may well contribute some poignant direction for the future of Reggae. For those who like Electronica, Duran & Aytek have a hopeful futuristic instrumental that is at once calming and exciting. What other musical genre do you know that can provide meditative states simultaneously delivering thick thumps of bass? Check it out!
Dredg pulls off a fascinating song with its high-powered guitar rifts juxtaposed with the lead singer’s wonderfully melodic voice and meaningful lyrics. The song conveys a sense of pain and suffering, something that many Christians are either well too familiar with or don’t know how to deal with at all. While the line, “Your journey back to birth is haunting you” can be viewed by some as having a cyclical or circular conception of history, rather than a Judeo-Christian linear view, that can be subject to interpretation. It can also be interpreted that one’s journey or call by Christ to be like little children can be a struggle for some. The line, “Only those who accept will find acceptance in return,” far from suggesting laissez-faire ethics seems to be advocating for the ethic of loving your neighbor and the by-product of reaping what one sows.
Dredg’s themes of “journey,” “home,” and sorrow for lost time seem to underscore the perennial struggle of humanity wrestling with its mortality. Not a bad combination for a rock band and definitely worth the download. Incidentally, I looked up the definition of “dredge” and Encarta says it is a “machine used for digging underwater,” it is used to “discover or recover” things from the bottom of the sea or to “search for something.” I guess there are times when we need to dredge up stuff from the past or from the bottom of our souls to recover some lost precious items. Sometimes the journey home brings us full circle to new birth, a place that can at first be painful yet delivers the cry of new life.
P.S. And about “Ven Devorame Otra Vez” that’s a different story and a different forum. :o)