Desmond Dekker–Israelites

Israelites might as well be the official song of summer.  Period.  No well meaning jams or pop hits will every be able to top the sunny, subtle protest that landed Desmond Dekker an unprecedented number one on the UK charts.  It even hit the top ten in the US, without the help of ubiquitous rude boy culture.  It starts with a theatrical flare, a dramatic and measured intro that’s closer to Get Down Moses than rocksteady classic.  Then it quickly opens up, leans back and blossoms.  With lyrics that describe laboring night and day to support oneself, it’s inadvertently the perfect paean to wagging off in the summer.  The requisite afterbeat guitars and Dekker’s earnest voice, Buddy Holly-like at times, make for one of the smoothest tracks out there.  It truly has no predecessor nor successor in terms of craft and mood.  What Dekker has done on Israelites is unmatched.


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