[4 August 2009]
You don’t have to be a Rastafarian to believe in One Love. The idea of the unity of all material things in the spiritual world, in all religions believing in the same God, can be found in many faiths throughout history. The fact that a 22-year-old South Carolinian celebrates this essential should not be surprising, but there is something precocious in his attempt to embrace all world cultures in his music. His songs share a global innocence as his mixes reggae, rock, and rhythms from all over into a musical stew that seems childlike in its joy. No wonder one of his songs has been included in the Shrek the Third soundtrack. All of his material resembles the type of music one would expect to hear if one took a bunch of talented kids on a long car trip to a spiritual retreat and had them make up songs in the back seat. Mostly, it’s a good thing, but the inspirational elements can get a bit wearying.