Jamaican American reggae singer Tarrus Riley, 34, is fond of saying that reggae music is “the newest old music and the oldest new music.” At first, that’s a bit of a head-scratcher. But a listen to his new record, Love Situation, brings Riley’s meaning into focus.
The son of reggae singer Jimmy Riley has risen to international acclaim on the heels of rootsy, pop-tinged hits such as 2007’s “She’s Royal” and last year’s “Gimme Likkle One Drop.” But his latest record is pure rocksteady, a precursor to reggae that developed in Jamaica in the mid-1960s. It’s a throwback, but one whose easy, organic sounds feel especially forward-thinking in an era smitten with electronic effects. By looking to the past, Riley is moving ahead, creating something new from something old. Read more