Sister Carol Isis (Tuff Gong)
Isis (Tuff Gong)
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Oct. 15, 1999
Isis (Tuff Gong)In a genre so often awash in a tidal wave of testosterone, it's always refreshing to hear from a woman, and no female reggae artist has more to say or the ability to say it more convincingly than Sister Carol. Also known as Mother Culture, the Brooklyn-based DJ/singer is back with another thoroughly conscious set of roots music that sparkles with witty verbosity and an acute sense of social reality. She addresses topics as wide-ranging as feminism, spirituality, herbalism, HIV, drugs, unresponsive government, police brutality, and her intense love of reggae music. Her tales ride a variety of solid roots riddems, the most crucial of which have been associated with the likes of Bob Marley, Burning Spear, and Sir Coxsone's Studio One. Carol has a delightful penchant for borrowing snippets of melodies and phrases from pop tunes, reworking and incorporating them into her own songs, but what Isis does best of all is showcase Sister Carol as a highly original voice within the music, a woman's voice coming from America that addresses female concerns both universal and community-specific. She is the Earth Mother of reggae music, and her return is long overdue.