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Album review: Ziggy Marley’s ‘Wild and Free’

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Whether you enjoy “Wild and Free” depends on what you think about the title track, a paean to legalized marijuana, co-written with Woody Harrelson in support of Proposition 19, last year’s failed bid to turn California into the new Amsterdam.

A fantasy about fields of green, “Wild and Free” comes gratis with your purchase of the eldest Marley son’s first comic book, “Marijuanaman.” Indeed, Ziggy’s a chip off the old blunt, as his fourth solo album since splitting from the Melody Makers touches upon well-charred themes: ganja worship, political subversion and the vicissitudes of time.

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Filled with equal parts platitudes and affability, it presents song titles as leitmotifs: “Roads Less Traveled,” “A Sign,” “Personal Revolution” and “Changes.” But like a Jamaican Jack Johnson, Marley conjures a two-beer buzz — splitting the difference between laissez faire cool and total listlessness.

But then, “Wild and Free” is as casual and familiar as a Friday afternoon. You might not remember it in six months, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a pleasant enough way to idle away the time.

Ziggy Marley
“Wild and Free”
Tuff Gong Worldwide
Two-and-a-half stars (out of Four)

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— Jeff Weiss


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