Bob Marley & The Wailers sonically campaign for African unity on 'Africa Unite'


The album captures the spirit of his earlier work while seamlessly injecting new-age voices from the continent and their unique music styles.

Bob Marley's musical legacy beams from the 1960s and continues to reverberate through time with the recent release of his posthumous album Africa Unite. This album serves as a testament to Marley's profound influence on reggae music. It also shows the amazing ability of good music to transcend trends and time.

Creator: Michael Ochs Archives
Creator: Michael Ochs Archives [Rolling Stone]

Bob Marley started his music career in 1963 with Peter Tosh And Bunny Wailer, eventually forming the group Bob Marley & The Wailers. They shot to global stardom with their hit song, One Love, and ever since have become a significant icon not only in reggae music but also in music worldwide.

Carefully sequenced greatness

With Africa Unite, Marley's signature blend of infectious rhythms and amazing vocals is as potent as ever.  However, like a twist of lemon in a cocktail, this album brings us something fresh and zesty. The album captures the spirit of his earlier work while seamlessly injecting new-age voices from the continent and their unique music styles.

The album tracklist takes listeners on a journey through the complexities of life, love, and the struggle for freedom with Marley’s signature style. These well loved songs are remixed with fresh takes from artists like Rema, Teni, Tiwa Savage, Patoranking, and Oxlade.

The album launches with So Much Trouble In The World, a song with a catchy hook that highlights the state of discord that Marley's world had in the past. A quality which the world today still has. Then the album’s tone changes to a politically charged tone on Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) a delightful bop that tells listeners "Forget your sorrows, forget your sickness" but within the song, the singers highlight the ills in the society around them while sooting the ears with a sick base and a fantastic chorus.

Though each track carries a strong theme, they don't clash; instead, they flow into each other in a sort of greatest hits' smoothie. So the album waxes strong with themes of politics and subjugation but also coos softly with themes of love and unity in the motherland.

Thematic guide to Africa Unite

Thematically, the album has strong political notes, condemning poor governance and highlighting the plight of black people. In typical Bob Marley fashion, there are also heavy themes of love and highlights of Marley’s pan-African beliefs in songs like One Love and Turn Your Lights Down Low. The diverse range of voices and styles enhances the album's theme of universality, embodying the idea that music is a universal language that transcends borders, a body of work, and a true unison of African voices. At the heart of Africa Unite, Marley's unique ability to infuse his music with an irresistible groove while filling listeners with a strong sense of hope shines through.

Notable tracks on Africa Unite by Bob Marley & The Wailers

This album was full of exciting features like a remake who straight up feasted on his bits in Them Belly Full (But We Hungry). Roma's chameleon ability to blend into whatever genre he's dabbling in is second to none as he holds his own well with Bob and Skip Marley.

Teni and Oxlade were fantastic on Three Little Birds showing off the sonic relationship between reggae and afrobeats. The song was fun and carefree, good enough to help you briefly believe that every little thing will be alright.

Tiwa Savage shows off in Waiting In Vain and we really see her at her emotional best both lyrically and vocally as she sings about love and longing.

Some of the featured artist's styles did not harmonize as seamlessly with Marley’s sound as others did. However, as a whole, the album remains deeply enjoyable. Listening to it will transport listeners to a simpler nostalgic time while offering them something fresh and interesting to enjoy in the present.

Overall Rating- 7.5/10