Live: The 2020 Sessions is a new album from San Diego-based band, Tribal Seeds. I’ve reviewed a number of releases that were recorded during quarantine (there have been many, as people have had quite a bit of time on their hands). What’s unique about this album though is that it was recorded live, in studio, in front of cameras for three whole days. So there’s audio and video footage. It’s a fairly substantial release, too. There are 14 full and complete tracks, almost all of which are over 4 minutes long. There’s no filler or padding here.
These guys are all pretty impressive musicians as well. I’ve never been much of a fan of “live” versions of albums, but you’d almost never even suspect this is a live recording. The skill level is very high, and the audio quality is excellent. The band managed to combine the best of both worlds. The songs retain the organic realism of a live performance without sacrificing sonic appeal.
As far as the music itself, it’s basically reggae in the roots style, though creatively presented. The songs often incorporate unique sounds and effects. There’s a surprising amount of instrumental variety and some wild twists and turns. The song Blood Clot is one of the most rock’n’roll jams on here, and even ascends into the realm of “tropical futurism.” Another memorable tune is Fallen Kings, which has a string quartet! My favorite track is probably Rude Girl which has a dreamy, ethereal ambiance. Every song on this album is good, though. You really have to marvel at how much effort was put into this project and just how perfectly everything came out. You can’t ask for much more than this.
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