Dub Inc Album Review: Paradise (2013)

Today, we will be reviewing Paradise, the fifth album from French reggae group Dub Inc. This band combines French, Arabic, and English with reggae-based music and laces it with different styles.

In green is my opinion. I discovered this album by chance and am not familiar with this group. I’ve been exposed to a lot of Arabic music, however, and so the Arabic influence will be easily detected by my ears.

In blue is my cousin Robert’s opinion. Robby has heard a lot of Arabic music in his day as well. The group is as new to him as it is to me. Robby speaks some French (fromage 😉 ).

Revolution

Revolution is a chill reggae song that eases the listener into the album. The verses are inviting, sung over reggae-styled piano. The little bits of horn thrown in throughout the song are nice accents that spice up the song. Thankfully, the chorus is easy to swallow, as it is repeated quite a bit. Revolution is an ideal introduction to this album.

Revolution. I love that show. But it turns out that today we are reviewing the song Revolution by Dub Inc, not the awesome Fox television show. I honestly laughed at the first minute of the song because of the way it sounds but after finishing it, I noticed that it has good vibrations throughout as well as a lot of languages included. It is a fun song to start off the album, but I wish it was not so repetitive at times.

Better Run

This song has an 80’s feel to it. This is mainly due to the synthesized piano, which adds a very playful touch to the song. Better Run is sung with the perfect amount of emotion, bringing the melodies to life. It is a great song with some subtle guitar laced within it.

Better Run has such a great vibe to it. It reminds me of Bob Marley! Better Run is a great reggae song that makes me appreciate the genre and wish that more music was like this!

Paradise

Despite the fact that this song inspired the title of the album, it isn’t a fantastic one. The guitar is very well done, but the chorus sounds like it was recorded underwater. The band went too far with the vocal effects and auto tune. Lyrically, the English chorus was weak as well. The bit that begins with the breakdown toward the end of the song sounds pretty good, but it is only one tender bite out of one fatty steak. Paradise isn’t very impressive.

Three Words: That guitar intro! When a band releases a song that has the same title as the album, it had better be good and reflect on the theme of the record. Paradise does just that, as it is a song I can imagine being played at parties. When I go to Mexico in the summer, I know for sure that when my cousins and I are on the beach, we will be playing and dancing to this song in literal paradise! I only wish this song had a guitar solo in it.

Chaque nouvelle page

This song kicks ass. Chaque nouvelle page flows smooth as hollandaise sauce on top of crepes. The verses are very melodic, as is often the case with Dub Inc, and the chorus is irresistibly catchy. The drummer does a fantastic job both restraining himself and adding in solid rhythmic transitions. The piano is another fantastic component to the song. Paired with the fact that these guys are setting the mic on fire, Chaque nouvelle page is a successful song with buckets of energy. 

For you French noobs out there, Chaque Nouvelle Page means Each New Page. I am not fluent in French, even though I took it for 7 years (I blame teachers), but I know for a fact that the title goes along with the mostly French lyrics. The song is still awesome, even if we cannot understand what the group is singing about, and I do love the piano. This is another track with great vibrations.

Partout dans ce monde

Partout dans ce monde is the song that introduced me to this band. This track is one that is so clearly built by passion. The vocals are driven by feeling. Even though I don’t know what in the world these guys are saying, it sounds right on and passionate.  The melodic lyrics work in unison with remarkable instrumental performances all around. Every band member brings his all on this track. While this song could easily have been a solid yet safe reggae song, Dub Inc decided to add a breakdown to the middle of the song, as well as a strong climax at the end. To top it off, there are subtle moments where I hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers creep in, which is never a bad thing.  Partout dans ce monde is a masterfully crafted piece of music. 

French 101.1: Partout dans ce monde means Around the World in Anglais (that is French for ‘English’). Enough with the French lessons. This song is another song I want to dance to. Oh, and FINALLY, A GUITAR SOLO!

They want (feat. Skarra Mucci)

This song is hilarious. Skarra Mucci, who I am perceiving as the Shaggy of the international community, gives this song a hearty helping of humor. To put it plainly, his voice is funny. He sounds like an alien cartoon character. Because this song is intended to be a club song, the humor I find in it is perfectly okay. The piano is played differently on They want than on the other tracks. It has a surprisingly dark overtone to it, even straying away from the one-note reggae trend at times. They want is a fun party song, ideal for an encore at a live show. 

At first when I read the title of this song, I thought to myself, “Who in the right mind would want feet?” Then I realized I had misread the title. They want is another fun song you can get hooked to easily. It is a song on the record that I can understand, which makes it easier to dance and listen to. If this song does not make you want to get up and be groovy, then you have no soul!

Foudagh

Foudagh would go really well with a glass of rosewater with freshly prepared hummus. Rosewater is as nasty as Kraft Singles and hummus isn’t my cup of shay, but I would suffer through the consumption of both of them for the sake of Foudagh. This song is 100% Arabic. It is as smooth as labne. The oud (middle eastern guitar) was a great creative choice, giving the song an even stronger Middle Eastern vibe. I was floored when I heard a darbuka (middle eastern drum) thrown into the mix among all of the other other instruments. The verses are sung with excitement and passion, as they often are with Dub Inc, allowing Foudagh to come across as authentic rather than cheesy. This song is a huge success, constructed in a clever way and forward-moving entirely. 

Oh no. This song sounds too Arabic. It reminds me of every party my family goes to because all they do is blast Arabic music all night long. The parties get loud and annoying, especially since we cannot understand a dang word they are saying. I do not mind this song, however, because the vocals sound different, unlike all of these Arabic singers. For the last two minutes, the song  has Spanish and Arabic vibes. Overall Foudagh is a great song that blends Spanish and Arabic sounds well enough to make a music smoothie!

Il faut qu’on ose

It looks like I need to throw out my rosewater and hummus. Bring me my escargot and French bread. Il faut qu’on ose is straight-up French. The accordion is a dead giveaway (we ate ribs with dude) that this is a genuine French track. I picture a night of adventure in France with this song as the soundtrack. By a night of adventure I mean a night of getting lost and being unable to ask to directions due to a language barrier. Following a giant like Foudagh, it doesn’t pale in comparison. I dig this song. 

Translation: Should They Dare. So we go from an Arabic sound straight to a strong French song that lets you know what it is from the start. I am a huge fan of the French vibe to this song. It sounds like French rap! If I ever (hopefully) go to France one day, I had better hear this song on the streets at night. This song in a nutshell: Viva La France!

Sounds good

Despite the underwhelming intro, Sounds good is a well-executed song. To put it into perspective, it is a faster They Want minus the cartoon character. The horns add some flare to the electronic dance-inspired sounds that define Sounds good. Sounds good sounds good, but it’s nothing monumental.

Sounds Good has a lot of electronic sounds in it, but I actually enjoyed them because they work great! The drums are fantastic as well. It is another one of those songs you can dance to on the dance floor with the lights off and a bunch of laser lights hitting the floor.

Hurricane

The horn-driven introduction to Hurricane has a military vibe to it, preparing the listener for a wave of heavy music. Hurricane is intense, as it is full of weighty sounds. I’m not exactly sure who or what Dub Inc is angry at, but I do know they are angry at something. For me to understand that fully, despite the fact that I don’t understand a word the band is saying, shows how universal music truly is. 

The intro to this song lets you know that you are about to be hit by a huge storm! Hurricane is rightfully titled because of the mosh of instruments you hear, including guitar, drums, heavy electronic bass, and even more electronic noises. Hurricanes are my favorite disaster, and this song definitely Rocks You Like a Hurricane! It is heavy, and that is why I love this song!

Enfants des ghettos (feat. Meta Dia, Alif Naaba)

Bob Marley + African influence = Enfants des ghettos. The Marley lyrical reference of “coming in from the cold” is commendable. The reference shows how influential Bob Marley truly was to people of all tongues and nations. Heck, he touched the entire world. Enfants des ghettos excels musically, and I enjoy it even though I cannot personally relate to the lyrics of growing up in a ghetto.

Dang. This song has such a dark title: Ghetto Children! I thought this song would be slower and darker, but it is not as slow or as dark as I expected. It has a lot of rhythm, and it is an easier song to listen to. It is not too fast yet not too slow. This is more of a laid back song, and it should not be skipped. It relaxes you. 

Only love (feat. Jah Mason)

Only love was definitely inspired by Bob Marley. The message is Bob Marley-esque in both meaning and delivery. The music is pure reggae, not steering in any other direction in terms of cultural influence. Jah Mason adds some passionate energy to the song, and Dub Inc relaxes itself to allow him to take the wheel. Being the final track with a message on this record, it got its point across effectively. 

The title of this song makes me think this should be a Bob Marley song. Thankfully, Only love does have a similar reggae vibe! The sound definitely reminds me of a tropical island, though it would have been nice if steel drums were used to give it more of that tropical feel because hearing the same instruments over and over can get boring.

Dub contrôle

This instrumental track sounds fantastic, changing often enough to remain interesting yet staying with a constant rhythm, making it easy to keep a grip on. To end this diverse album with a dynamic track such as this one was an unexpected treat. 

No translation for this one, the French just like to be fancy with their words. With that aside, Dub contrôle is an awesome, fun way to end the album. All of the instruments in this song are crazy. There are no vocals in this song. I love when bands do this. Metallica did it a couple of times and it worked well. Dub Inc does it here and they also make it work. I love hearing sound without lyrics once in a while. Now, if somebody can get me to a tropical beach, a bottle of Corona, a bunch of my family and friends, a speaker, and this album, I would appreciate it because we would have the time of our lives. This is the first time I really gave a listen to reggae that is not Bob Marley, and I love it! I hope you all find a liking to this as well!

My Top 3

Partout dans ce monde

Foudagh

Chaque nouvelle page

Robby’s Top 3

Partout dans ce monde

Hurricane

Dub contrôle

This album is a fantastic one. Rather then ending up like a buffet, where each diverse song is just okay, Paradise is a strong all-around album. This T-Bone is absolutely worth your time. I am glad I stumbled upon this group’s most recent record.

~Juck

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One comment on “Dub Inc Album Review: Paradise (2013)

  1. Pingback: Gamerscene: What to Expect in 2015 | GAMERSCENE.WORDPRESS.COM

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