The Aggrolites - IV (Cover Artwork)

The Aggrolites

IV (2009)


Just one year after the release of Reggae Hit L.A. comes IV, the appropriately titled fourth album from soul-reggae outfit the Aggrolites. With it, the band continues their track record of creating great summertime albums that are both relaxing and energetic at the same time.

If you've heard any of the band's previous efforts, you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect with this album: reggae mixed with healthy doses of soul, R&B and a little bit of funk that works perfectly as background music but is also highly rewarding for attentive listeners. It's all set against the same raw, lo-fi production utilized on past albums. The band saw something that wasn't broke and decided not to fix it, and for the most part that's fine by me.

The only complaints about the album are those that I have about other Aggrolites albums. First, the album is a bit long-winded. While none of the songs are outright bad and this is easily the band's most consistent album to date, some songs are definitely weaker than others. It hurts the album's flow, but it's still easy to listen to from start to finish. Second, the lyrics almost entirely lack substance, which is a damn shame given Jesse Wagner's gruff soulful delivery. It's this limitation that relegates the band's music primarily to summertime spins for me. Finally, a few too many of the songs fade out at the end, but that's a personal pet peeve of mine.

In spite of these flaws, this is still a fantastic album that's bound to receive plenty of spins from me this summer. For fans of the band, this is an easy one to recommend and for the uninitiated, this is as good a place as any to start.