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All Music Guide - Steve Leggett Ziggy Marley has switched directions for his third solo album, Family Time, but then again, not really. First off, it's a children's album, and a delightful one, and while he has always been an advocate for children's rights (he is the founder of U.R.G.E., a nonprofit organization that supports charitable children's causes in Jamaica, Ethiopia, and other parts of the world) and has contributed both his voice and songs to various children's programming, this is the first time Marley has done a full children's album. That said, the bright Jamaican rhythms and joyous vocals on display here aren't any different than what he has been doing all along, and children's songs or ... See more details below Eligible for .



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Ziggy Marley

A five-time Grammy-winning musician, actor, artist, activist and humanitarian, Ziggy Marley has established his presence on the public stage for over a quarter-century. Which is why, perhaps, there's a wisp of irony in naming his upcoming album Wild and Free, given not only the focused writing and recording of his fourth solo studio album, but also Ziggy's concurrent involvement in an ambitious tour stretching through this spring and summer, as well as other projects in the realm of publishing and filmmaking. And with the arrival of a new baby requiring his attention, it's remarkable Ziggy is able to capture the energy to keep his sound wild and free!

The overall theme of the album is a powerful one, as it propels Marley to challenge social injustice along with the political weapons of ignorance and fear. Wild and Free (Tuff Gong Worldwide) , his fourth solo album, may be Ziggy's most political and personal to date. Set for release on June 14th 2011, Wild and Free was produced with friend and collaborator Don Was at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, CA as well as Marley's own studio.

"The thing that makes this new album special is that Ziggy has embraced the more traditional and familiar textures and rhythms of reggae, while further defining the unique artistic vision that sets him apart," says producer Don Was. "His quest to find his own voice within the framework of tradition is the real story of the album." In that quest, Marley finds company in the immense and varied talents of guitarist Takeshi Akimoto (Raya Yarbrough, Dry & Heavy) , bassist Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Sting) , keyboardist James Poyser (Eryka Badu, Common, Mariah Carey) , drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis (Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear) and percussionist Rock Deadrick (Ben Harper, Chicago, Kenny Loggins) .

With themes of freedom and responsibility, tempered hope and intemperate love, Wild and Free affirms Marley as a master storyteller with an innate sense of soul. It opens with its title track, "Wild and Free," a rock-fueled reggae anthem with a funky, Stevie Wonder-esque synthesizer solo, written in support of California's Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana. Swapping verses with his friend, actor Woody Harrelson, the two envision "hemp fields growing wild and free" and the far-reaching effects of legalization benefiting small farmers and a myriad of others. Marley provided a free acoustic version of the song to his fans on his website under the alternate title, "A Fire Burns for Freedom."


From there it's the funky and fun-loving "Forward To Love," segueing into the first of several cautionary songs, "It" (joined by rapper Heavy D) , which implores people to examine long-desired goals. Ziggy rides a swift reggae current on "Changes," joined by songwriter/producer
Linda Perry a



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