Thursday, 4 May 2017

LISTEN UP: Press play on these 5 fresh tracks from some of reggae’s finest

Damian Marley feat. Stephen Marley 
Whenever Junior Gong and big bro Stephen join forces to create lyrical magic, the results are never less than quixotic. With this hypnotic love letter (off Gongzilla’s summer 2017 album, Stony Hill), the dynamic duo (known for such stellar collabos as “Traffic Jam” and “Hey Girl”) use skilful wordplay and sublime melodies to pay glowing tribute to Miss Mary Jane, "a celebrity among trees" who isn’t celebrated enough for her medicinal powers. It's sure to put listeners on a musical high. B+

“Shades of Grey” 
The sultry songstress, who also has new album in the works, tapped US-based hitmaker Colin ‘Bulby’ York to produce this heartfelt, slow-tempo jam (about believing in and fighting for love despite the odds) that draws on her signature mix of reggae-soul and R&B flavours to win us over. Perfect for Sunday afternoon radio. B 

“We Are” 
Morgan Heritage feat. Kabaka Pyramid and Dre Island 
Teaming up with two noteworthy lyrical soldiers from the new school, global reggae ambassadors Morgan Heritage are in sizzling form, championing tomorrow’s leaders, on this rhythmic, repeat-worthy instant hit (off their new studio album, due for release later this year). In short, it reminds us that the future is always in our hands, always ours to shape. A- 

“Are You The One?” 
Julian Marley 
Julian Marley sounds like a man in deep meditation on this slow-burning tune full of introspective musings and roots-reggae spice. Like “On the Floor” and “War Zone”, it makes a solid addition to his ever-expanding arsenal of hits. For this stage of his career, the Marley scion has said he’s exploring “reggae as freedom music,” and this is an arresting new sample of the creative journey he’s on. B+

“Just the Way You Are” 
Tarrus Riley 
With “She’s Royal,” his chart-topping breakout single, Riley stole the hearts of female fans everywhere. He hasn’t let them down since. Now comes this flavourful mid-tempo anthem about acceptance, unconditional love and being true to oneself. In true Tarrus Riley style, it’s catchy and melodious and lifts the spirit with its irrepressible feel-good vibe. B+

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