Apart from a trombone solo and nyabinghi drumming on the opening "The Rhythm is Calling Me" and haunting female harmony vocals throughout, Human Nature is an entirely solo effort by one Brian Battaile, who calls various regions on the North American west coast home. He also calls all the shots with regard to his sound, which, true to his alternative name, blends roots reggae with a space age ambiance that owes as much to psychedelia as it does to Jamaican and American musical dualities. Battaile sings with a salty, unencumbered directness that isn't exactly pretty. Still, when you're taking on subjects like child soldiers, racism and the pending destruction of mankind, pretty isn't an option. He laces his DIY riddims with snaky melodica and ominous stabs of clavinet and synthesizer that punctuate the messages but takes an occasional break from serious proceedings on songs like "Simplicity" and "Funkggae," the latter an instrumental that sounds exactly the way you'd expect from the title. Fans of Rebelution, Stick Figure and other homegrown reggae artists who combine classic and contemporary will enjoy this satisfying labor of reggae love. -Tom Orr