|UB40 - Labour of Love III|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jason Karsh|
|Thursday, 29 October 1998|
| Performance 6.5 | Sound 7.5 |
Depending upon the intensity of your militancy, your opinion of UB40 probably ranges from ‘sellout,’ to ‘culture stealer.’ But the fact is, someone’s got to play Reggae in tourist hotels and, frankly, Peter Tosh records scare a lot of uninformed white people. That’s why the music industry created UB40, or at least, that’s why they’re so accepted. In fact, if you can get past the fact that they are a watered-down version of what Reggae intends, they’re not a horrible band. What they are, and continue to be, is quite successful. Which could be why they haven’t changed much of their formula for the third installment of ‘Labour Of Love.’
Echoing the strains of their most popular albums, ‘III’ is also a "tribute to the artists who inspired them." Including Bob Marley’s "Soul Rebel" and even the Peter Tosh anthem "Legalize It," this album is the user-friendly Reggae you’d expect in the elevator of a Kingston Holiday Inn. It is recorded well, and performed quite competently, but it’s hard to imagine this was the way Tosh, Marley and other pioneers ever envisioned these songs being sung.