World Upside Down - Jimmy Cliff

from the album Rebirth (2012)

For his first album of new material in seven years, Jimmy Cliff chose to work with producer Tim Armstrong.  This is an interesting choice as Armstrong comes from the worlds of ska and punk
(he is the former lead singer for Rancid) rather than reggae.  The results are outstanding.  The combination of Armstrong's hard edged production with an incredibly tight band provide a backdrop for Jimmy Cliff to let his vocals soar with a vitality not common anywhere, let alone in a 64 year old performer.

Track One is World Upside Down.  The short introduction is uptempo with a nice keyboard hook telling you "hear comes something special", then enters Jimmy Cliff's beautiful voice singing "They say the world is spinning around / I say the world is upside down".  This is ecstasy.  If my goose bumps were any bigger, I'd be a porcupine.

The vocal, keyboard hook, and driving rhythm section make you want to dance to this call for justice and humanity.  These common themes in Cliff's music are as relevant today as they were 40 years ago. He hits them all: Religious Hypocrisy / Political Tyranny, Ecological Calamity / Financial Instability. The song reminds us that we have been dealing with this crap our whole lives but we have the strength to survive.  Thanks Jimmy.

The song ends with the repeated refrain "What about the love?"  I'm definitely feeling it.

Click Here to view a live performance from Later...With Jools Holland in August 2012.

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