Reggae is cool in any language, to be honest, the great thing about all music, at least all music that is doing its job properly, is that it transcends language but loses none of its appeal and sonic profundity just because you don’t have a translator to hand. This time out, Pierfrancesco Maria Rovere is in celebratory mood, to be honest when isn’t he, given the back catalogue of upbeat and euphoric music he has given us to date, but this time it seems to be music itself, and the happiness that it brings, that is at the heart of the groove.
And what better subject to celebrate? Happiness Sings! may wanders between Italian and English lyrics but like all good songs it is the emotional connections that they provide that is the key. Just because there may be a language barrier doesn’t mean that there needs to be an emotional one and like all good music the words talk to both the head and the heart, can be absorbed literally or appreciated for their soothing qualities in less tangible ways.
Reggae is main musical medium at work here but it throws in some wonderful sounds from other exotic places such as Hawaii, Polynesia and Latin America. And with all of these island vibes at work in one place the result is euphoric and soulful and the songs are constructed with enough space and room to breath that you can almost see the sunlight stream through the middle of the songs and bathe them, the players and the listener in warmth and wellbeing.
The message is kept simple and straight to the point. Music equates to happiness, it’s as simple as that. How can you not like it… sun-laden Pacific pop blended with Caribbean reggae vibes, sweet and clean limbed grooves, infectious danceability – before you know it the hips are moving, the feet are shuffling, the hands are in the air and you are singing along. That is the power of music, all music, and it takes a tough skin or a closed ear to not be musically buoyed up by such a sound.
Okay, let’s make sure that we have everything. Reggae grooves…check. Addictive pop melodies…check. Honest yet infectious lyrics…check. Joyous vibes, celebratory attitudes, singalong pop contagion….check, check, check! In fact it is hard to think of anything that this album has missed. A job well and truly done.
Now drop a liberal amount of white rum in a freshly cracked coconut and pass me a straw….