If it works, don't fix it. That is the pointedly conservative concept behind "Labour of Love III," UB40's latest remake collection. The idea is to pay tribute to the artists who inspired this once-revolutionary band that named itself after a British unemployment form. But the not-unexpected result is pop-reggae that's frustratingly low-key, from the sound effects at the start of Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy" (remember their 1984 hit with Diamond's "Red Red Wine" ?) to the tepid run-through of Peter Tosh's pro-ganja anthem "Legalize It." The band also sleepwalks through the Melodians' "It's My Delight," Bob Marley's "Soul Rebel" and the Mighty Diamonds' "Someone Like You," all done up in sonic monochrome.
UB40's sweet harmonies and trippy grooves remain intact, and they make occasional nods to dub, drum & bass, and dancehall. But "III" does nothing to revamp the band's rep as purveyors of easy-listening reggae.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.