World of Ghouls
Photography by: Franck Blanquin
Max Romeo (born Maxie Smith, November 22, 1944) is a Jamaican reggae and roots-rocking reggae recording musician, visionary leader, prolific singer, and songwriter. Max Romeo is a very successful stalwart in the reggae industry. He started his career in the 1960s when his debut song “Wet Dream” made the UK singles top 10 charts and launched a new style of Jamaican music that included overtly sexual lyrics. The BBC later banned Wet Dream.
In the 1970s, Max Romeo decided to take an oath to Rastafarianism and embarked on a more conscious route in music. This conversion resulted in his “War Inna Babylon” album, produced by Lee Scratch Perry. It was charged with religious and political themes and is still credited as one of the most successful and greatest reggae albums of all time. The album included the track “I Chase The Devil,” which would later become Max’s most commercially successful single and one of the most sampled reggae tracks of all time – including ‘Lucifer” by Jay Z and “Out of Space” by The Prodigy.
As a septuagenarian, Max still tours the world performing hits from the past and even a few new singles from his more recent albums and is still respected as one of the most prominent reggae acts in Europe.
Max Romeo – World of Ghouls – Apple Music
World of Ghouls is Max Romeo’s 45th studio album, and though that is a colossal achievement in itself, we can say that this is his most intimate to date. The album contains a delightful and candid collection of songs straight from the soul. In addition, World of Ghouls includes features from his children, Azizzi Romeo and Xana Romeo & Lil Rollee.
The songs from this melodic collaboration project ignite Jah people’s mind and body movements. The album offers a perfect combination of Jamaica’s known musical genres, powerful vocals, and avant-garde mastering arrangements and production.
The number 45 holds massive importance for the iconic reggae crooner, an avid scholar of numerology and psychology. That significance of 45 played a significant role in naming the album and its titled track, World of Ghouls.
“45 is a very auspicious number, you know, one that teaches us to prepare well for certain changes that in the long run make us happier through new opportunities and prospects. 45 is also seen as a 9; (4 + 5 = 9); another lucky number that symbolizes a certain amount of wisdom and experience.
In my view, based on what I see happening in the world today, it does appear as if we are living amongst legions of ghouls. In all facets of our world, medically, environmentally, economically, politically, spiritually, physically, and mentally, there seems to be a morbid interest in chaos, destruction, and death, thus the name World of Ghouls. So this album is my 45 or 9 to shoot down the ghouls with word, sound, and ultimate power.”
World of Ghouls is a blissful listen. It’s a smooth blend of traditional and contemporary sound, achieving a definitive release from one of reggae music’s pioneers and leaders. The album loudly proclaims themes of inspiration, expectation, and transformation, with an infectious energy that will have listeners singing along.
Max Romeo’s World of Ghouls is released on his own Indie label, Charmax Music, produced by Azizzi Romeo.
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