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Collie Buddz graced us with his 4th studio album Take It Easy, and this is classic Collie.  While you can see and hear the growth, every Collie fan will love this album.  This album is a true reggae album which also blends in dancehall and a little hip-hop, which shows off his growth and creative powers.  The majority of this 12-track album was produced by Collie himself along with J Vibe, but we also get Bobby Konders and Fatbabs producing tracks.  And I love that Collie uses his band not only on tour but in the studio as well- Jason "J-Vibe" Farmer – keyboard, Shawn "Mista Roots" Mitchell – bass, Ronny Gutierrez – guitar, Noah Cronin – drums. This album is filled with irresistible rhythms, some great lyrics by Collie and Collies smooth chill flow.  I fell blessed to be able to continue my musical journey.  I poured my heart and soul into this project, and I’m thrilled to finally share it. I especially love how the album came together consisting of multiple writing and recording camps around the world with some of my favorite people.  “Take It Easy” is a celebration of life, love, and the power of music to unite us all.  I hope it brings joy and positive vibes to everyone who listens,” Collie Buddz recently said.  What I have always loved about Collie’s lyrics is, from the outside looking in, from a higher level, it seems like many of his songs are all about weed, smoking and so on.  But when you actually listen to what he is saying, the message he has, it is so much more, thought-provoking and meaningful.  A casual listener will be like, oh these are real fun songs, but a true fan knows the importance of the message.

We jump right into track 1, “Take It Easy,” the perfect song to start this album off with.  A sweet, lazy afternoon rhythm, a song to sit back and chill. It is a song that reminds us that Collie wants us to sit back and enjoy life, chill out and stop worrying about the things we can’t control.  This tune is a bubbly song with a classic keyboard-centric riff which shows off Collie’s fluid and light vocals.  “High Grade (International Herb)” is track 2, and hits us with a nice reggae riddim with nicely place synthed horns, a well produced song.  This is, of course, a song about smoking the high grade.  Hit that high grade and feel no pain. “The smoke a fill mi brain, Oh Lord God mi no feel no pain, I took a draw this morning yeah of the high grade.”  Collie used the classic song written by Joseph Hill of Culture as the root of the song. The next song takes me back to some early Collie (and in a real good way), “Brighter Days” has that sweet upbeat rhythm we are so used to, and the flow form Collie is so nice in this joint. This song about staying focused, don’t listen to the negative, and just live the life you live.  This is a song to put on repeat and just fall into the lyrics. Nice use of a hip-hp drum line with some traditional dub breaks. Track 4 is “You Around” and is a lovers rock song, don’t stress Collie will always be around.  I love the drums and beat in this, in fact all the music in this is so fresh and upbeat, this just puts a smile on my face.  Can’t stop my head from grooving to this. Some great lyrics and vocals from Collie, especially when he takes it up a notch in the chorus. 

Collie keeps with the love songs with “Close To You.”  This is a hip-hop/reggae blend, but tighter than “Brighter Days.”  This is another one that hits, the drum again, the bass with Shawn Mitchell, this is one to really groove to.  Nice slow dance with your girl, dipping on that bass.  Collie is more chill with his voice, a nice easy smooth flow. “I’m on my way girl just hold tight, I’ma deal with it so right and ya know, Disturb your neighbor dem the whole night when she say, “hold me close to you,” You know I will.” With each song I keep thinking, damn this is the one, but they keep getting better and better.  Track 6 is “No Bush Weed” featuring B-Real, a good 90’s hip-hop flow, upbeat song, I love the bass line in this.  Collie’s vocals pop on this, changing up his tempo and range, I love the mix.  B-Real comes in hard with a great flow over the beat.  These two should do more together, they really compliment each others styles and flows.  This is a great collaboration and we follow it up with another one, Jamaican dancehall legend Bounty Killer joins Collie on “Twisted Agent.”  A song about the corrupt system, “Don’t get it twisted, police dem not yuh friend (Neva), Dem only working for di twisted agenda.  Maybe the best lyrics by Collie on this album, he really hits it hard and perfect on this.  Bounty Killer comes in and absolutely kills it.  Lyrics are so strong and his flow is a little less extreme than we are used to, but he flows so well with the rhythm and the supernatural electric organ.  Track 8 is “Mr. Wicked” a song with a great bass line and string work.  We are taken back to some classic reggae vibes with a beautiful skank of the guitar and we have a nice Cali reggae vibes as well.  Another song with such strong lyrics and a nice sound from Collie’s vocals. 

“Trap Set” featuring Demarco is track 9, comes in with a rock feel with the guitar work from Ronny Gutierrez, and I love his solo at the end.  Nice bass line in this and a great verse from Demarco.  They have worked together in the past and I really love the way they work together.  The way Collie mixes up the mood and style of each song, all based in reggae but bringing in different styles and textures. Track 10 is “Money Up” and another collaboration, this time featuring Keznamdi.  This is a fun party song with a Uk Afrobeats sound, “Champagne champagne, Have a pool full a liqor and di gal dem a jump in mi nuh ramping, A general season so money up money up get ya money up.” I really love the flow from Keznamdi, he attacks his lyrics and keeps the party going with a singjay and hip-hop rap flow.  Next up is “Collision” featuring rapper Danny Towers.  I really love this track, has a nice Afrobeats sound to it.  It may seem odd to have Danny and Collie on an Afrobeats song, but Danny Towers kills this but when Collie comes in, this song just goes to another level.  Collie changes tempo and flow.  So nice!  We finish off this fantastic album with “Hold Firm,” from his previously release Cali Vibes Riddim.  The perfect song to finish this album off, a song that is what Collie is all about, what he is always stressing in his songs. “One life to live an so mi live it like ah holiday, nuh cares, no stress, no worries, throw that all away, we all have ups and downs pon di day to day, so when I rise, tell myself do sum good today, a lot of people out deh dem juss lost ah seed, dem ah do wah mek dem happy, kno seh dats di key, dem nuh care bout yuh, dem nuh care bout mi, but mi kno seh life’s so sweet.” We start off with a nice chill reggae rhythm with “Take It Easy” and this just bookends the album with another nice chill reggae feel.

We waited four years for this album, and it is well worth the wait. You can see the time and effort Collie put into this project.  Nothing rushed, nothing taken for granted.  The production is near perfect, the music so strong and the lyrics and message amazing.  Collie is telling us to not let life wear you down, stay positive, but also reminding us to watch out for the system and how it controls and entraps us. This is possibly Collies best work to date. Where does Collie go from here, how does he follow this up. I am not worried about that answer, Collie is so talented only still growing, learning and will stay on top.

One Love- Todd

Todd Judd

Photojournalist - Pennsylvania

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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