REVIEW: Keyser Soze – ‘The Remedy’

keyser soze

Artist: Keyser Soze
Album: The Remedy
Genre: Reggae, Soul

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, reggae/dub is alive and well in The Biggest Little City in the World. Keyser Soze’s The Remedy brings the feel-good vibes over the course of 11 soulful cuts with all your favorite reggae elements to dance and chill out to. Whether you’re a fan of The Wailers, Sublime, Pepper, or all of the above, you’ll find everything you need within the aptly titled, The Remedy.

The newest release from Reno’s Keyser Soze spans 43 minutes of horns, organ, funky bass, soulfully smooth dual vocals, and much more, all culminating in one of 2013’s best albums to lose yourself in. Opening with “The Season,” the album starts off with a piece that would appeal to any fan of any reggae sub-genre. It’s the perfect balance of all the contributing factors you look for in a solid track from one of your favorite bands in the scene. While it’s certainly one of the strongest portions of The Remedy and a great opener, I wouldn’t say it’s the album’s magnum opus.

The soulful, noir-esque “Catch Your Breath,” with perfectly chosen guest vocals from Lauren Nagel taking the lead, stands out as one of The Remedy‘s strongest efforts, and I think it’s safe to say that it’s my favorite of the 11 offered here. As that may seem to come across as a slight to the band in the sense that it’s led by someone outside of KS, I assure you that it’s not. Both Jammal Tarkington and Rodney Teague’s vocals are ideal for KS’s sound but “Catch Your Breath” adds a great variety to the album and showcases the band’s wise choices in collaborators.

While the aforementioned songs and “Remedy” really round out the album with all members involved, lengthy moments of vocal-less instrumentals in tracks like “Firehouse Sound” and “Dreidel Dub” make for great intermission-like segments to groove to before the vocals return and give us something further to focus on. Little added touches of melodica, tenor sax, and other various instruments also provide special enhancements that all flow perfectly within their respective pieces throughout the album. With that being said, as great as the instrumental efforts are on The Remedy, I found it odd that the band would choose to wrap up the album with two consecutive, fully instrumental tracks in the penultimate “Happy Ending” and closer, “Harvest Dub.” Neither track is a throwaway but their placement feels off and slightly interrupts the ebb and flow of the preceding 36 minutes. I’m curious as to whether or not this was intentional as “Happy Ending” is somewhat ironically the second to last track.

I can’t say that Keyser Soze have brought anything particularly new or groundbreaking to the genres they cover with The Remedy, but they’ve undoubtedly taken the constituents they know and love and brought them together in a cohesive effort that holds its own in the scene. Whether you’re looking to just sit back and relax with your favorite beverage or kill some time cleaning house, The Remedy is a record that’ll serve as an ideal soundtrack.

SCORE: 7.5/10
Review written by: Brian Lion — (Follow him on Twitter)

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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