Recently scaled down from a seven-piece to five, Morning Star has ditched the keyboards that alternately lifted the group's songs to buoyant heights, or drenched them in enough chordal syrup to make Yanni fans wince.

In addition to Richardson's sweet, smooth voice and snappy guitar, Morning Star showcases Emilio Santiago's first-rate percussion. Thematically, Richardson's lyrics are entrenched in the reggae tradition of preaching peace, love and a combined effort to battle the hatreds that divide us.

Strongest when it avoids drifting into unnecessary extended jams, this band's music generally falls into the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" category of slick, cruise-ship-style reggae. Expect to smile and sway, ultimately losing the battle to keep your rum and Coke in the glass and off your clothes.--Matt Golosinski

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