Album Review: “Burnin'” By Bob Marley and the Wailers
Burnin' by Bob Marley and The Wailers - Bob Marley / Youtube
Burnin’ was the final album with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in the lineup before they pursued their respective solo careers. Unabashed and defiant, Burnin’ was the perfect send-off for the two while elevating Bob Marley’s singer-songwriter status in the industry. Just like their previous material – some which made their way into the record – the album’s call to action, albeit pointing to force, is rather apparent and in-your-face.
“Get Up, Stand Up” is a signature cut with its themes involving Haiti’s poverty, packed into a catch vocal and instrumental mix. “Hallelujah Time” continues this image of grief while hiding the emotion in an uplifting arrangement. “I Shot The Sheriff”, most known for Eric Clapton’s rendition, is pure and raw and tugging with Marley’s original. “Burnin’ and Lootin'” takes the perspective of society as a prison, while “Put It On” is a somber, prayer-like track with a satisfying wah-filled progression.
“Small Axe” is a music industry grievance by Marley, “Pass It On” rides a piano riff and talks about morality and how people approach it. “Duppy Conqueror” is filled with trippy palm mutes and a satisfying “Ohh” backing vocal, while “One Foundation” calls one for unity with its optimistic progression. Closing the album is the happy-go-lucky hymn “Rastaman Chant”.
While the overbearing monotony of the album’s sound might seem too much for some, Burnin’ is one of the prime reggae records to look out for.