Monday, 24 August 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Jah Cure mixes flavourful riffs, reflective vibes on The Cure

RECORD TIME: With The Cure, the singer is bound to captivate and thrill his listeners.

Though he hardly has to prove a thing to industry colleagues or the loyal fans who’ve stuck by him through thick and thin, perhaps the most telling statement that Jah Cure makes with his new album, The Cure (VP Records), is that he doesn’t need to enlist a single guest collaborator to create a masterpiece. On the solid new release, which has climbed to the top of Billboard’s Reggae Album chart since its July 4 debut, the seasoned reggae-soul hitmaker delivers a listening experience that’s quintessential Jah Cure: melodic, soul-stirring and full of deep reflections.

This is the return of the lover man (“That Girl”, the R&B-tinged “Show Love”), the introspective, conscious singer-songwriter (“Life We Live”, “Corruption”), the soul survivor (“I Surrender”, “Still Remains”) and the supercool dreadlocked rudeboy (“Rasta”, “Set Me Free”). Unsurprisingly, most of these 13 tracks connect with the requisite emotional heft and have the potential to fare well at radio on their own – living up to Jah Cure’s reputable talent for crafting hits.

Among the other flavourful highlights is “Other Half of Me,” about growing old with The One, echoing sentiments like “Though the seasons change only true love will remain.” (After memorable chart-toppers like “Call on Me” and “Unconditional Love” it’s crystal-clear that the singer still has a handle on affairs of the heart.) With a title as vivid and self-explanatory as “No Friend of Mine”, a plaintive tune speaking to human nature and relationships gone sour, opens the CD on firm footing.

Every artiste worth his salt knows that one song or two among his favourites that he wishes he’d written. Jah Cure is certainly no exception. Having already covered tracks like (his impressive rendition of ) Asa’s “Jailer,” he gives John Legend’s “All of Me” a groovy, reggaefied update that goes down smoothly like rum cream on a balmy Saturday evening. And that’s not a far cry from how we feel about the album itself. Still at the top of his lyrical game, Jah Cure has given us one of his best offerings to date.

And it’s a splendid reminder that, even with the emergence of talented young turks like Duane Stephenson and Nature, he still ranks among reggae’s most reliable stalwarts giving Jamaicans something meaningful to sing – and think – about. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+ 

> BEST TRACKS: "Show Love", "Set Me Free," "Rasta" and "No Friend of Mine"

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