Kaya is a bookend Exodus, Marley’s seminal work. Recorded during the same session the themes of both records are similar, but have a different tonal vibe. Easy Skanking’s drug references set down the loose, open feel of the album. It’s laid back, breezy and chilled considering the
assassination attempt that forced Marley to move to London and live in exile. Stephen Marley’s new mix of the record layers alternative vocals over different arrangements and draws heavily from the original. Is This Love and Sun Is Shining sound more vibrant with the new reworking that they positively glisten. The roots reggae feel comes across more than ever with loving attention being paid to balancing the mix on songs like She’s Gone and Running Away. Of course it’s not the first time Marley’s work has had a revisiting. Even in his own lifetime the title track and Sun Is Shining appeared with different arrangements on Soul Revolution from 1971.
Ultimately Kaya 40 Mix stays true to his father’s legacy and creativity but is merely refined sonically. There would be no use in polishing shit, but Kaya is an album that is worthy of being buffed up to ensure that it shines even brighter than it did four decades ago.
Groupie Rating 4/5