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the pathetic caverns - music by artist - Mishka

eclectic reviews and opinions


One Tree

(Cornerstone RAS, 2005)

Freud is quoted as saying that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But to a cigar aficionado, this is not really true; there are different materials, different methods, etc. So too, reggae music is often just reggae music to the masses. The sub-styles and shadings are lost in generalization. Mishka's cover portrait looks kinda Rastafarian, and song titles include "Love and Devotion," "Rock with Me," and "Dust Your Blood Dub" -- so it must be reggae, right? Well, not necessarily.

I like Miska; I'm just not sure how reggae it is. The CD effervesces with shimmering chords from an acoustic guitar (that's Mishka strumming)., The drums are not dry and thudding but more percussive and perky. Don't even look for a dub-heavy bass line . . . it's just not there. Lyrical and vocally, the eight songs on the disc come across more like adult contemporary with a hint of world music than anything else. If you're looking for the next guy to burn down Babylon, Mishka ain't your guy. But if you're looking for someone to make some sense out of Babylon, he's your man. Recommended if you like Eagle Eye Cherry, Jack Johnson, or Howie Day.

© 2005, David Troen-Krasnow


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