Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley: Welcome to Jamrock [Tuff Gong/Universal, 2005]
Anything but a fluke, the title hit barely stands out on an album where Irving Berlin takes full writing credit on "Road to Zion" because it's based on "Russian Lullaby"--and where there are many better tunes. I prefer several that sample reggae oldies not by his dad--Bunny Wailer, the Skatalites, Eek-a-Mouse. What is by his dad is Damian's authority. The son's legacy--this son's, anyway--is an international music of black protest that subsumes hip-hop more easily than hip-hop subsumes reggae. He's to both manor and manner born--his convictions reflect his inheritance and his professional training, not his experience. But he's learned his lessons well. A-