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Promised Heights
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  • On their final LP for Janus Records, Cymande continues the heavy message theme of Second Time Around. "Pon de Dungle" is about the secrets of life and love articulated over a lazy beat. "Equatorial Forest" is a multifaceted tune with a lightning tempo and sliding, accentuating horns, while the Curtis Mayfield-ish "Brothers on the Slide" has some commercial appeal. The flavorful "Changes" is like viewing a good oil painting; the slow moody instrumental has a meditating effect, and a soft, airy flute makes for an inconspicuous lead instrument. "Promised Heights," the title cut, is strong, and should have done better for Cymande. It has the lilt and beauty of earlier sides, the horn work is sensational, and a nice sax solo scintillates. That same looping reggae beat is matched with meaningful lyrics and a positive, working-together theme on "Losing Ground." "The Recluse" has a great hook ("When will all the lights go, will they leave the blackest night") and features a nice romping beat spiced with sweeping horns. Cymande is a perfect example of music's universal appeal; despite not knowing 70-percent of what they're saying, you're still drawn into the sounds. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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