One of recent years most anticipated reggae albums has finally arrived. Stephen Marley’s Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life – the follow-up to Revelation Part I: The Root of Life – was announced already in 2011 when the first part was put out.
Stephen Marley is the second eldest son of Bob and Rita Marley. He has been immensely successful since he started singing professionally at the tender age of seven. His three previous solo albums all landed #1 on the U.S. Billboard Album Chart date and to date he has earned a total of eight Grammys for Best Reggae Album.
The first single off The Fruit of Life was released in 2014. Rock Stone was a murderous combination cut with conscious deejays Capleton and Sizzla and it boded very well for the full-length. The second single Ghetto Boy was another strong combination, but this time with Bounty Killer and Cobra, two dancehall deejays. This was another promising cut.
Since then another four singles have been lifted from the album, but none with same musical magic as Rock Stone or Ghetto Boy.
The digital version of The Fruit of Life comes with a hefty 24 tracks, including intro, prelude, outro and three remixes. It also boasts something of a record in guest appearances. I count to 26 if I include a sample of Nina Simone. Most performers are from hip-hop and R&B, including legends like Rakim and Busta Rhymes.
And compared to The Root of Life this album has a more diversified sonic palette with samples and drum machines. Stephen Marley has aimed at expressing the impact Jamaican music has had on various other genres, especially hip-hop, and with bold and clever production he has created striking album; a melting pot of influences that together make a cohesive whole.
The Fruit of Life is eclectic with room for both revolution and romance as well as boisterous party-starters like Tonight (It’s a Party) and ballads such as It’s Alright. This is not another anthemic roots album, but a sonic picture showing the fruits of reggae and the bond between reggae and dancehall and contemporary hip-hop and R&B.