February 27, 2003

Test Spin: Ziggy Marley

Print More

Achieving ample success with his band The Melody Makers, comprised of several of his siblings, Ziggy Marley decided to venture out on his own. The result, Dragonfly, is Marley’s first solo effort, and is a fine debut indeed. Guest appearances from Red Hot’s Flea and John Frusciante, as well as Marley’s signature, socially-aware lyrics are captivating. Ziggy’s messages of unity are balanced by lively guitars and calypso drums. The album starts off with the poignant title track, a unique concept of the complexities of humanity seen through the eyes of nature. “True to Myself,” sounds like it is Ziggy’s anthem, a declaration that true happiness comes from being comfortable in your own skin. The words, “Just do what you feel and don’t you fool yourself,” are sure to lift your spirits in whatever state you’re in. “Looking” is another inspiring track about the constant search for inner peace in all the wrong places. Ziggy also manages to fit some dark material into the otherwise sunny repertoire. In “Shalom Salaam,” Ziggy discusses conflict in the Middle East, while “In the Name of Your God” is a powerful song about the endless violence attributed to religion. “What divides us is an allusion, made up by men in their confusion,” and other such profound lines make this track one of my favorites. Aside from the inspirational and social commentary, Dragonfly has its lone love song, “Never Deny You,” with nice complementing strings. I always wonder how artists are able to write such meaningful and personal lyrics that bare their soul and core beliefs. It is an artistic feat not achieved by all, yet it seems like second nature to Ziggy.

Archived article by Sophia Asare