Iakopo Mixes Reggae Sounds With Smile-Inducing ‘Waves’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Iakopo is a reggae artist who was born in California where he learned to play piano at age 3. He was adopted raised in Samoa. Of his island childhood, Iakopo has said, “I didn’t face pressures…to hurry up. I wasn’t on the clock.” That philosophy comes through clearly from the first song of his new album Waves.

“Easy” is the first song on the album and the opening line is, “Oooh nothing to do now.” The rhythm will get your head moving while the easygoing melody will have you, like Iakopo, longing to be under palm trees.

A reggae song about marijuana is not a novelty and this album includes one with a funny twist. He sings about getting pulled over and hoping that his friend doesn’t reveal that there is weed in the back of the car. The guitar has a clean old-time ska sound that you might expect on a Skatalites record. The keyboard part adds a bounce to the melody. No matter what you think about marijuana use, this is an infectious tune that should put a smile on your face.

From the classic dub sound of “WWYD (What Would You Do” to the steel drums of “Don’t Mash up the Vibe,” Iakopo shows that island music is a part of who he is. There are also some songs like “Warrior No Worry Girl,” which would not be out of place at a dance club.

Some albums are great for road trips or for the gym. This is a great album for a sunny day when you have nowhere to go other than your yard or patio with your favorite beverage in your hand. You’re likely to find a smile on your face throughout the whole album.

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