"Irie State of Mind" Review by Shawn Hallman
"Irie State of Mind"
Fortunate Youth’s new release, Irie State of Mind, is all anyone could ask for in a reggae album. As soon as the intro kicks in you are treated to 12 tracks of well placed percussion riffs, wonderful vocals, and a full-on dub and reggae assault. The band worked with Lewis Richard of 17th Street Studios, producer of Seedless’s Twisted Roots. Lead vocalist Dan Kelly said this of Richards: “Having worked with Lew on the TWISTED LOVE album for Seedless, it really let me know that Lew would take the IRIE STATE OF MIND CD where it needed to go. I totally trusted Lew to capture the sound of what Fortunate Youth needed for the IRIE album.”
The trust was well placed, as Irie State of Mind is sure to turn some heads and the production quality is top notch. After the intro “Reggae on the Radio” hits with a nice guitar intro to spark things up and get the ball rolling. The rhythm section shines throughout the track. The soulful chorus of “Trippin” is going to have you singing along to yourself on the second listen…if not the first. By the time “Alibi”, one of Kelly’s favorites to record, plays it’s hard not to realize just how good this band is. The vocals and the music can match up to create some beautiful moments in this song and throughout the album.
“Skankin” sounds like the perfect hybrid of The Specials and pop reggae. “Love is the Most High” is a song with meaning and soul. “Jah Music” brings Matt Liufau of Seedless on bored for another duet you can’t miss. “Melody” shows off how well the band can match their rhythms and melodies together. “Sweet Love” is a nice bouncy romantic track. “Farmer” (Feat. Juan Rios of Seedless) is a song to smoke to before the album comes to a close with “Bastard” another great track with some nice falsetto singing and some rapping.
Irie State of Mind is a great album that the band is very excited about. Band member Corey Draskovich put it, “fans can expect to enjoy some good vibes and good tunes” which is what this album brings. Listeners will not be let down and as drummer Sam Mandelbaum correctly notes that "everyone that loves music can find a song on here that they will put on repeat all day." Irie State of Mind is definitely worth your time to listen.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hallman
Fortunate Youth Links
A time lapse of the creation for Irie State of Mind cover painted by Mike Davids.