Toots & the Maytals

Record review

ACL Fest Reviews

Toots & the Maytals

True Love (V2) Santana-ized for your protection, reggae pioneer Toots Hibbert and his band speed-date his Jamaican standards with famous fans in an attempt to break through. The result is True Love, a reintroduction to Toots & the Maytals and a lesson in reggae for beginners. The album isn't for reggae aficionados, but rather for folks who don't know the difference between Bob and Ziggy Marley. The weakest tracks ("Bam Bam" and "Sweet and Dandy") suffer because the talents of the guests (Shaggy and Trey Anastasio, respectively) overshadow the purity of Toots. Plus, it's hard to not think of them as a marketing ploy. The whole album walks a thin line between obvious choices (No Doubt on "Monkey Man") and obvious commercial gimmicks (newcomer Rachael Yamagata on "Blame on Me"). How True Love differs from the Carlos Santana school of career rebirth is that the original spirit manages to shine through. Reinventions of the dub-inflected "Time Tough" (with Ryan Adams) or Willie Nelson's "Still Is Still Moving to Me" (featuring its author) succeed because they're True Love's true duets. Bootsy Collins and the Roots would seem like a brilliant collaboration ("Toots, Roots, and Boots" as Collins raps) for "Funky Kingston." Instead, it's a game of one-upmanship. Thankfully, Toots and his Maytals are at the top of their game, even if some of their (arguably) more popular musician friends weigh them down. (Friday, 7pm, Cingular stage)

**.5end story  

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Full Service
Lockers (Record Review)

Bryan Rolli, June 24, 2016

Phases & Stages
Live Shots: Reggae Fest

Kevin Curtin, April 24, 2015

More by Matt Dentler
Best Ofs
The Beta Band
The Best of the Beta Band (Record Review)

Dec. 30, 2005

Best Ofs
Beastie Boys
Solid Gold Hits (Record Review)

Dec. 30, 2005

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle