Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

L.A.B. – Why Oh Why

Why we gotta be so rude?


Katherine St Asaph: I’m dubious about the Mandela effect, but I swear I have an actual memory of hearing this as a child, in the dentist’s chair.

Alfred Soto: Suddenly, like that, it’s 1994 and Big Mountain proffer slushy reggae to an ungrateful citizenry.

Thomas Inskeep: A syllogism: 1. Pop-reggae is terrible. 2. “Why Oh Why” is pop-reggae. 3. Ergo, “Why Oh Why” is terrible. See? Logic is simple.

Will Adams: As unfashionable as it may be, I understand that there exists a market for cod-reggae. It’d be better served by a song that’s not this drawn out and dogged by Joel Shadbolt’s strained high notes.

Juana Giaimo: I mean, there are definitely more annoying songs than this one, but I’d definitely skip it if it came on a playlist or on the radio. Saying that reggae is repetitive is maybe not understanding the genre at all, but “Why Oh Why” is really the safest form of reggae I can think of. It’s peaceful, it features the harmonic backing vocals and it’s introduced with “love over all”, as if we weren’t completely cynical after a year that showed us many times how humanity can be really shitty.

Scott Mildenhall: When you have as much of your country behind you as L.A.B. seem to, perhaps it can go to your head. “Why Oh Why” is underwritten and overlong, as if simultaneously grandiose and complacent, and to the extent that it could be library music tagged “Kingston Town”. It is to reggae what Steve Jeffries’ “Soul Singer” is to soul, but somehow charming for it. Ultimately it isn’t trying to sell you brown sauce; its worst crimes are reverence and sincerity. They clearly dearly want this to be good, yet end up being called “BBQ reggae”. Even if that’s not quite a gift horse being looked in the mouth in 2021, it is a horse trying its best.

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