Review by Jen Cheshire for Island Stage Magazine
Mellow Mood’s latest album ‘Large’ is an album full of social comment, with subjects ranging from fake news to consumerism, and a little ‘broken hearts’ and ‘self-pity’ thrown in the mix.
Mellow Mood is an Italian band fronted by twins Jacopo and Lorenzo Garzia. The band burst onto the scene with their debut album “Move” in 2009, named for the band’s intention to ‘move’ into the reggae scene. This album became an international success, much to the band’s surprise and delight. Their debut singles “Only You” and “Dance Inna Babylon’ went viral with more than 50 million views on YouTube. Mellow Mood has performed extensively in Europe with performances at festivals worldwide including Rototom Sunsplash, Reggae Sun Ska, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Jamming Festival in Columbia and Siempre Vivo Reggae Festival in Chile.
The latest album “Large” opens with a haunting track, “ Call Back The Love”, that sets the scene for the rest of the album. A beautiful track with poignant vocals telling us to “call back the love inna we heart” [sic]. Although it’s a very short track, leaving you with wanting more, it is a statement to the lack of caring for our fellow man in the world today. This theme is reinforced by tracks like “Tuff Rocky Road” and “Another Day”, telling us to not give up but press on and embrace life with a positive attitude. The title track “Large” is a social commentary on consumerism, how we’ve been brainwashed into the never ending chase to obtain material things instead of living life to the fullest, a track that makes you stop and think. “Sound of War” and “It Can’t Work” take a dig at the politicians and the media for feeding us misinformation and fake news. “Daddy ‘ is a song to fathers (grandfathers or father figures) who guide and teach us in our early years but continue to be there to share their wisdom throughout our lives. A beautiful tribute to the elders in our lives.
Mellow Mood also ventures into the world of personal love with “Heart to No-One” and “Eye Wata”, a tale of a painful breakup and a reminder not to wallow in self-pity. “String Up A Sound” an Afro-beat song featuring a sample taken from Sierra Leone’s Refugees All-Stars’ repertoire, is a lively track that is so infectious it’s hard to not get up and dance.
My opinion has always been that no matter how conscious and uplifting the lyrics are if the vocals or music aren’t good how will the message be heard. “Large” by Mellow Mood has all the right ingredients, the vocals are spot on, the musicians are top quality and the production is excellent. It’s one of those albums where it is difficult to pick a favorite track, or your favorite track changes the more you listen. Mellow Mood you have a new fan.
The album “Large” is due to release April 6th via La Tempesta Dub.
click the album cover to purchase via iTunes