Jamaican vocalist Jah Cure returns to a more roots-oriented sound on his latest album The Cure, a 13 track set where he blends reality checks with bedroom ballads. It’s a well-rounded album influenced by roots reggae and lovers rock fused with elements from R&B and pop.
Jah Cure is a controversial artist and did not have the typical way to stardom. He had just begun his musical career in the late 90s when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape and possession of firearm. When in jail he recorded new material and his popularity started to rise and he became something of a folk hero. In 2007 he was released and since then he has released four albums True Reflections… A New Beginning, The Universal Cure, World Cry and now The Cure.
He has a golden voice and on World Cry he aimed for crossover success collaborating with artists like Rick Ross and Jazmine Sullivan. That album was a mishmash of hip-hop, pop, R&B and reggae. He strayed and lost his way, but on The Cure he has found his way back to his roots.
The Cure finds Jah Cure at his most passionate and emotive. His chart-topping cover of John Legend’s All of Me is heartfelt and slick, while nyabinghi-tinged album opener No Friend of Mine is powerful aiming straight at the chest. On Corruption he successfully battles a dubby riddim, Stay With Me comes with militant horns and Rasta contains a pulsating bass line along with a catchy sing-along chorus.
In the late 90s Jah Cure was a leading light in reggae, but since he was released from prison it seems that he has struggled to find his sound. The Cure collects several attractive ballads, but balances those with edgier cuts. With this new set Jah Cure has created a sound that might attract both crossover fans and reggae purists alike.