The new old new revival of the old new

This Vogue article invites us to ‘meet the millennial musicians behind Jamaica’s new movement’, when in fact what we are being asked to do is meet the influence of the millennial audience.

Because I’ve seen it before – this ‘new’ music is not new. It is reggae pop, heavily produced with an American radio audience in mind. Consider these two songs, the first from one of the ‘revival’s’ heavyweights; Proteje;

Or perhaps this one;

Now, are you thinking of, say, Inner Circle? Can’t blame you. I’ve certainly heard this before.

I can’t help thinking that it all sounds like New Zealand reggae from the 1990s (reggae being more or less ubiquitous in the 70s-90s). Anyway, Vogue’s newfound ‘reggae revival’ sounds a lot like this to me;

This is NZ reggae outfit Katchafire, from about the late 90s (judging from the milk bottles).

I think this is a case of Vogue’s millennial agenda – ‘we invented a reggae revival!’.

No, you dewds invented heaps of stuff – like being endlessly vapid on bottomless social media platforms. There isn’t a reggae revival, there’s just a small group of middle class Jamaican musicians who’ve recognised the key to getting a bit richer is selling into the US, which means toning down the ‘kill the batty boy’ angle and playing up the ‘I love trees’ angle, being extremely repetitive and chucking in an auto tuner.

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