Ras Teo – Bredda Daniel LP
Bredda Daniel is Ras Teo’s third full length release, following 2009’s Mystic Morning and Show the Way in 2011. Born in Sweden with Armenian heritage, Teo spends his time between his home in LA and recording in Jamaica and the UK.
Bredda Daniel follows a very traditional roots line, it’s an old fashioned homage to Jah. It highlights the evils of the world and the influence of the Bible, it’s a true righteous Rasta calling. Teo’s voice is soft and lyrical yet very strong on conviction and is always to the forefront of the mixes. His voice is an instrument which blends perfectly with the melodies.
The album kicks off with title track ‘Bredda Daniel’ a well crafted song, which sets the theme of quality writing. It’s tuneful sound is full of detail, flutes here a fluttering guitar there. The story follows the Bible’s Daniel and the message of faith and trusting your beliefs is explored. Teo’s voice is full of conviction, you can tell that this is a man who believes.
My favourite track of this set is ‘Mama Africa’, a lovely mystical tune. Teo creates the theme of returning to the African homeland so well. The slightly mournful lyrics capture the hope of seeing the motherland, but the vocals are tinged with a sense that the return won’t actually happen. Is this a track that highlights that sometimes the dream of return is stronger than the reality?
‘Night and Day’ speeds up the tempo bringing in some UK influences, a sprinkle of Aswad can be heard amongst the horns. Babylon burn is the sentiment!
The album has lovely production, the layers of sound on ‘Delilah’ are quite captivating, whilst the crispness of ‘Cumbaya’ is uplifting to hear. The Producers have added a very accomplished polish to the LP. This is also evident on ‘They Can’t Stop I’ another favourite, it’s pure Rasta, a declaration of rights to stand up for what you believe in. With Rastas having had such a difficult history of persecution and blame for Jamaica’s ills, it’s right that singers and believers like Ras Teo should use these words as a call to arms.
I love the Rasta imagery that this album brings to me. My atheist upbringing runs very deep and it is difficult to fully embrace the words and sentiment of albums like this. In some small way this set may well help to sway me and bring me over. Ras Teo’s strength of belief is very persuasive and lines like ‘I am a master of my faith’ exemplify that. At the very least all listeners can take away the themes of love and respect. Teo wears his convictions on his sleeve and on this album he puts them across so beautifully, it’s an excellent record and whole heartedly recommended.