More than ten years has passed since Wayne Marshall dropped his debut album Marshall Law. Now he’s back with a second set on a new label – the Marley owned Ghetto Youths International. But that’s not the only Marley connection. Damian Marley has also produced most of the tracks and he also makes a guest appearance on the club anthem Go Hard, a cut that also features Assassin aka Agent Sasco, Vybz Kartel, I Octane, Aidonia and Bounty Killer. Did someone say prominent guest artists?
Well, we’re not done yet. Not nearly. Tarrus Riley, Cham, Capleton and Stephen Marley is on board, so is Tessanne Chin, this season’s winner of NBC’s The Voice and Marshall’s sister-in-law. Hip-hop artists Ace Hood and Waka Flocka also join the party.
On album opener It’s On Now, Wayne Marshall sets the rules for the album and states that Tru Colors represents his growth over the years. It has come down to this. A mature and contemporary reggae album spiced with hip-hop, R&B, gospel and electronic dance music.
Wayne Marshall is a multi-faceted artist, equally at home with singing and singjaying. I prefer the latter, even though he makes a strong singing effort on a version of R.E.M’s mega smash Losing My Religion. Marshall’s take is called On the Corner and is about the choices people make in life, choices essential to the fate – “that’s me in the school yard, that’s you in the school fight trying to please your ego… That’s me in the studio, that’s you on the crack pipe searching for the answers and still hiding form the light”. Listen kids – these choices are crucial and might have an significant impact on what happens in life.
Other important issues discussed is child molesting and missing children on Be on the Alert, honesty on Tru Colors, struggle on Nah Give Up and aspiration on Stupid Money.
Tru Colors certainly covers a diverse range of moods, styles and topics and Wayne Marsall shows that he is a clever lyricist with a feel for memorable melodies.