Mad Sensi - Power Plant
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Mad Sens
Power Plant

Now here's a sprawling, 2-CD set by the Spanish reggae band Canaman that left me cold. My own expectations defeated me - the Mad Sensi project brought together a multi-national group of reggae musicians, and the CD itself boasts "3 Reggae Riddims," which turn out to be 'Mental,' 'Animal,' and 'Spiritual' grooves: basically, socially and spiritually conscious messages, and other tracks with some dancehall fire. But with so many guest artists, I thought perhaps that Mad Sensi would work in some indigenous sounds, whether Spanish or African, akin to Bill Laswell, Jah Wobble, or the Twinkle Brothers' interesting take on making dub Polish music. Mea culpa.

Despite the numerous vocalists and different riddims, the whole of Power Plant all sounds remarkably similar. Occasionally, we do get lyrics delivered in Spanish and French; however, more often the listener is treated to mind-bludgeoning déjà vu. For instance, Jah Markus & Mabraka's turn on "Fire" is over the same 'Animal' groove as Culture T's "High Grade Weed" and Warrior King's vocalizations on "I'll Be There" - and they're not the only songs sharing the identical tune. Granted, different artists are making their mark over the same/slightly altered grooves of the Mad Sensi Band, but this only heightened my own disappointment as to what could have lent even more variety to this reggae gathering. Of all the contributions to stand apart from the monotony, Benjamin's catchy delivery of "War & Drugs" is enjoyable, and I dug Bruno & Ossman's lovely French on "Reve." But otherwise, Power Plant is recommended for all those who feel that one disc of mediocrity is never enough. - Lee Blackstone

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CD available from cdRoots

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cd cover

Live song via YouTube

Available from cdRoots


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