This 1982 release, Steel Pulse's first for elektra, marks the band's move toward a more buoyant, pop-inflected sound. 'true democracy' does not have the edgy roots feel of albums like 'handsworth revolution'; instead, it demonstrates the group's synthesis of reggae rhythms with high production values and well-crafted melodies. #but while the album's stylistic corners may be sanded for radio-ready accessibility, 'true democracy' contains some of the band's boldest, most explicitly political songwriting. The opener, 'chant a psalm,' invokes the names of biblical figures and puts the listener on notice of the album's conscious, spiritually minded tone. There are classic rasta themes, such as 'worth his weight in gold,' a song based on the teachings of marcus garvey, and songs that overtly address social and political issues. 'a who responsible?' takes on the history of racial injustice, 'leggo beast' is an indictment of prostitution, and 'man no sober' looks at alcoholism. #yet for all it's seriousness, 'true democracy' has a light, danceable vibe, exemplified in the party anthem 'ravers,' one of Steel Pulse's best tunes. Though sometimes overlooked in favor of the early island albums, this is one of the band's most consistent and enjoyable releases.
(Ltd Edition Red/Gold/Green Striped Vinyl)