FAMILY AFFAIR: "We value what we have. We've developed as artistes and as individuals."
Heralding their long-awaited comeback after a self-imposed five-year hiatus, Morgan Heritage launched their latest studio album, Here Come The Kings, at the Red Bones Blues Cafe Thursday evening. By the time the powerhouse quintet took to the stage (around 8:30 pm) to perform a selection of hits old and new, the sizeable crowd had already been fully reminded as to why this reggae-rockin' band still matters and proudly remains the royal family of reggae.
"They epitomize the strength of a family and what can be accomplished when a family stands together to build a legacy," offered Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, adding that they took a break from their overseas touring schedule to do the launch. "Their new album is in keeping with the genius we've come to expect."
"They understand the music, the culture, and the discipline to compete internationally," said emcee Elise Kelly.
According to vocalist Gramps Morgan, their five-year break from the studio gave the bandmates a chance to spend much-needed quality time with their families, delight in individual pursuits and get the creative juices flowing again. "It's been a joy. Five years of rest," he told the gathering. "We got to expand way beyond the music and the family and go more into the fraternity. We value what we have more because the foundation has been laid. We've developed as artistes and as individuals."
He can say that again. The proof is stamped all over the stellar new record -- 12 carefully crafted and repeat-worthy tracks mired in soulful consciousness and exploring everything from identity and harsh realities to love and relationships. Highlights include the solid opening single "Man Has Forgotten," the call-to-action anthem "The Return" and the Shaggy-assisted "Love Stoned."
So what's the thinking behind the CD's superconfident title? "It's not just about us, but the industry as a whole," explained lead singer Peeta Morgan. "Reggae is Jamaica's greatest export, and as Jamaican reggae stars, we are the kings of the music."