Stephen Marley takes tender care of roots reggae

In 2007 Bob Marley’s second son Stephen Marley dropped the Grammy winning and critically acclaimed album Mind Control. The year after he won another Grammy for its acoustic version.

Mind Control was a versatile and borderless album, whereas Stephen Marley’s new album Revelation Pt 1: The Root of Life is more or less roots reggae – foundation style.

And Stephen Marley fosters the heritage from his father and other foundation artists and groups well. Very well actually. Because this is a stunning album from beginning to end.

Thematically and lyrically it is in the same vein as last year’s Distant Relatives set from Nas & Damian Marley. It is conscious with messages of Africa and Rastafarian teachings of love and unity.

Stephen Marley handles the production himself, and the album is built on live instrumentation. The result is an organic and rich sound that assembles drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, saxophone, flute and harmonica in perfect harmony.

Stephen Marley’s raspy voice and singing style is close to his father’s. And when listening to his three reinterpretations – Freedom Time, Pale Moonlight and The Chapel – of Bob Marley’s catalogue it is almost as if you were listening to the father himself.

The remarkable Damian Marley duet and first single Jah Army – the album version also features Buju Banton – set high expectations with its thunderous one drop riddim accompanied by dub reverbs.

With this album Stephen Marley was set to preserve the foundation of roots reggae, and he has exceeded in doing so.

In the press material he is labeled as a five-star general in Jah Army, and I believe that he has rightfully earned every star and can now be nominated for supreme commander.

Revelation Pt 1: The Root of Life hit the streets on May 24th.

4 Comments

Filed under Record reviews

4 responses to “Stephen Marley takes tender care of roots reggae

  1. Pingback: I’m still laughing | Reggaemani

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  3. Pingback: Stephen Marley’s electic The Fruit of Life | Reggaemani

  4. Pingback: Damian Marley drops new album in October | Reggaemani

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