In the summer of 2011 acclaimed German singjay Gentleman and veteran Jamaican singer Richie Stephens – known for his silky bedroom pop ballads – released Live Your Life. This partly acoustic, put your lighters in the air, reggaefied pop song was an immediate success, and so was its more dancehall-oriented follow-up Warrior.
These two hit songs encouraged the duo to do a full album titled after their debut single, and Live Your Life contains four other duets plus four individual tracks from each vocalist.
Live Your Life is adult soft rock and pop influenced reggae with hints of dancehall and rocksteady. Richie Stephens distinctive, warm and deep voice contrasts very well with Gentleman’s youthful and more energetic approach, especially in album-opener I Found Heaven which is reminiscent of late 60’s and early 70’s DJ and singer combinations.
This is reggae by the good guys for the wholesome moms and dads, and it’s well-produced and directly aimed an audience that doesn’t want any fuss with their reggae. It’s uplifting, but at the same time harmless and polite, even though I get a little upset when I hear the version of the stadium rock classic Drift Away, which has been versioned to death.
Live Your Life is for some reason a U.S. release only, and over there it’s available on CD and on digital platforms.