Long Beach Dub All-Stars - Wonders of the World (Cover Artwork)

Long Beach Dub All-Stars

Wonders of the World (2001)


For the sake of my fingers, I will refer to this band as 'the stars' for the remainder of this review.

Ok people, we all know that this band has the two remaining members of Sublime holding down the rhythm section. Now we must look past that. Granted, they do play the same reggae-pop-funk that Sublime made famous in recent years, but they are expiramenting and expanding more than ever. This album mixes many different styles and many different instruments. However, the overall opinion after listening is mixed with many different feelings.

The first real track (after the dub intro) is the Stars new single 'Sunny Hours'. If you thought 'What I Got' was too pop, you'ld better skip this track and turn your radio off. It's a happy little ditty that reminds me way too much of Sugar Ray. It's not bad(right now), but I have a feeling I'll hate this song more than I hate Carrot Top in about a month. Other songs that stand out amongst an array of ska-ggae songs are the punky 'No Way'. It's got a great chorus that we should all take to heart. At first, the futuristic hip-hop song, 'Talkin' the Truth', sounds like it could be used for an anti-drug commercial."Let me tell you what the drugs can do, they fuck your life up in a minute or two..." After the second or third listen though, I could pick out another message in the song; Pot is better! Not to advocate the use of any drug in my review, but that's a message I've been preaching to my friends for years now. 'Lonely End' is one of the better ska songs, along with 'Life Goes On'. The album closes with 'Sunny Hours (reprise)' , leaving the listen asking himself "My God, did they really have to do that?"

If you combine the best songs off the Stars first album, 'Right Back', with the best songs off the new 'Wonders of the World', you would get a damn good mix of feel-good music. Unfortuantely, the good songs are spread over two full length records. 'Wonders of the World' is chockful of talented musicianship, including an excellent brass section and a kick-ass DJ, but the songs seem to be a mix of killer and filler. Better reggae albums are Bob Marley's 'Exodus', Peter Tosh's 'Legalize It', or even the punk-ska-ggae '40oz. To Freedom' by Sublime. However, I would dare to call this the perfect party album. It's good music you don't really have to pay attention to. Now, if you'll excuse me while I light my spliff...