Everybody’s past has a soundtrack. It’s an often-random selection of music that has accompanied, and in some cases, defined stages of our lives. As we grow older, tastes change and more is added to the soundtrack. Songs and artists are archived in our memory, assigned specific events or entire periods of our lives.
Until listening to this album, I had no clue the extent to which Iration is the soundtrack of my young adulthood.
Growing up in Hawaii, reggae was everywhere. There are at least 6 radio stations dedicated to the genre. Yet it wasn’t until my Freshmen year of High School, when Iration dropped New Roots, that I took notice. They were different. Amidst a sea of standard reggae, and jawaiian (a cross between Jamaican reggae and Hawaiian music) artists, they stood out.
Between 2006 and 2010, Iration was played constantly. In the car on the way to school, on the radio at my favorite plate lunch place, burned on a CD at a house party, over the speakers during swim practice, and the list goes on. Sometimes I was conscious of their music, enjoying each and every song, but often I was not. Their tracks would play quietly — or loudly — in the background while my life unfolded. All the while, unbeknown to me, Iration’s music was added to my soundtrack.
I mention all of this, because I feel that’s the point of this album. Double Up is about reflection. This band has been prolific in the alternative reggae genre for the better part of a decade. This album feels as though the group is taking a step back and paying respects to what’s gotten them here.
This is will not go down as an envelope-pushing album, or the first taste of something completely new; but to feel disappointment in that fact after listening to Double Up would be missing the point altogether.
For Iration, this is an acoustic ‘Greatest Hits’, but for me, Double Up is a surprising reinvigoration of fond memories.