A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Track #28 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist
It is you…
I say a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you
I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it
Know that you were doing wrong.
I’ve no idea what the bare bones lyrics of “Pressure Drop” are really about. The lyrics read a bit dark, but the song itself is nothing if not exuberant. I interpret it as a song about overcoming flaws or rising to adversity. Too much more interpretation would just be wrong. It’s really all about the music, the gloriously soulful, irresistibly funky music.
“Pressure Drop” kicks off with a quick drum intro. Then, while an organ vamps on some high chords, a muted bass and guitar pluck descending triplets. This simple, undeniably catchy pattern is repeated with only a few variations for three and a half minutes.
If this sounds a little tedious, you must not be familiar with Toots and the Maytals. Toots’ voice is gruff, growling and thick as molasses. He’s got range, and uses it to twist the simple lyrics into some fun improvisations. I’ve already called the song exuberant, but there’s really no other way to describe Toots’ performance here. At one point, near the 2:30 mark, you can hear Toots giggling to himself right in the middle of a run. The Maytals aren’t slouches either. Their full voiced harmonies are great, and their dissonant falsettos are the secret that gives the song most of it’s character.
If somehow you’ve missed the Maytals, and your Reggae knowledge is limited to a few Bob Marley tracks, stop by the library and pick up our copy of “Pressure Drop,” it’s on a compilation of two classic Maytals albums Funky Kingston/In the Dark. I guarantee you’ll come away a reggae convert.
Review by Matthew