Manchester Attack

Roots Controller

This has to be the comeback album of the year. It's been 12 years since this seminal U.K. roots reggae act released a studio album.

This has to be the comeback album of the year. It's been 12 years since this seminal U.K. roots reggae act released a studio album. Roots Controller restores Misty in Roots to the primacy the act enjoyed in the 1980s. The band was not inactive during the previous decade, gigging in Africa and at Peter Gabriel's WOMAD festival, so the superb musicianship heard on Roots Controller should come as no surprise. Misty in Roots was always a group with an activist agenda, and that mentality informs the tune "Cover Up," which deals with the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence in London. The group's social conscience is also on point with the live track "Ghetto of the City" and "Dance Hall Babylon." It's such a fine experience to hear this veteran reggae ensemble working its in-the-pocket dancehall sound again.—PVV