Many emerging artists offer a fresh new take on the evolution of reggae and are keeping it a globally viable entity. Rad Dixon is arguably one of those artists.
On January 1st, 2023, Tasjay Productions, one of Canada’s prominent reggae music production companies, will release the long-awaited debut album ‘Hard Times’ by South Florida-based reggae singer Rad Dixon, on all leading online stores.
Peppering every song with a simple one-drop riddim just won’t cut it with Rad Dixon. The songs on the album see the artiste exercising his experimental creativity while maintaining recognizability as an authentic reggae artist. The soulful, RnB-like production of ‘Times are Hard’ is not a bid to water down his music but is a testament to how serious he takes his craft. Nothing sounds generic in the production of ‘Hard Times. In fact, with this album, Rad Dixon takes not just the generous listener but the true purists down a musical journey.
‘Times Are Hard’ sets off the album with Dixon’s smooth singing, which makes an easy listen and is almost an ode to the 80s songs from greats like Third World and Maxi Priest. ‘Times Are Hard’ is uniquely brilliant and carries a poignant message about facing the hard times many of us and our youths are experiencing today.
On ‘Right Portion’, Rad Dixon is joined by the angelic Talee, who brings some of the smoothest harmonies you will ever hear on a reggae song. ‘Right Portion’s production will get you skanking in a two-step or slow dancing at a jam while passionately whispering the lyrics into your loved one’s ears.
What sets Dixon apart from other artists is his relatability. Listening to his songs feels like meeting with him in person. ‘True Love’ will instantly remind you of your loved one and bring a smile to ease your soul with its beautiful melody.
‘Mama’s Love’ is another well-thought-out production with every lyric, melody, backing harmony, and instrument setting a vibe and atmosphere that makes an easy listen and dedication to our special mothers.
Rad Dixon cleverly brings the legendary Luciano for the ‘Times Are Hard’ reggae version, the first single released from the album. What makes it a triumph is not just the more reggae-sounding bass and chords but the feeling that you are on the front row of a live reggae concert with the two artists performing while you sway and forget all the hard times in your life.
The reggae crooner’s words on a more somber sounding ‘On and On’ feel like a supportive hand reaching out to someone that has taken blows in life and giving them the strength to stand up and try another day.
From the stasis of ‘On and On, we go to the spontaneity of ‘Reggae Vibes’, which picks the tempo back up and brings feel-good vibes with its groovy bassline, unleashing a euphoric sing-along chorus.
‘No Knifes no Guns’ is a message from the lyrics that the community is desperate to spread today.
‘Jah Never Sleeps’ sounds like a real roots riddim and pays homage to the power of true Rastafarian values and serves as a call to manifest the power of Jah’s wisdom and guidance.
‘Break My Heart is another genre-bending production that is the perfect setting for a time and message that had to be delivered over such a calm backdrop of an almost acapella-sounding soft guitar and saxophone.
The final nod from Rad Dixon on his debut album is ‘Tuff Life’, a calm, omnipresent, and resonant traditional drums-led production that sets a blissful and atmospheric finale to the journey the album takes you on. ‘Tuff Life’ is a glorious conclusion to this smooth, modern, but still soulful album, which deftly traverses the line between urgent messaging and laid-back feel-good reggae music.