The Life I live(d)
2CD / Digital Release
June 24, 2014
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Question: How many Reggae artists can claim that their debut album consisted of two discs? Answer: Not that many!! Now one of them is the sweet-voiced Hezron, who comes up with his long awaited debut set "The Life I live(d)" on Tad's Records, featuring 26 tracks spread across two discs.
Hezron Clarke, born and raised during his earlier years in the District of Moy Hall District, St. James, Jamaica, developed his talent being an ardent member of his church choir and his musical gift was evident to his family and friends who facilitated its development, however possible. Hezron continued to expand on the dexterity of his vocals by travelling abroad and naturally transitioning into singing R&B. As his calling was deeply embedded in the rich Reggae music of his homeland, he was compelled to return to Jamaica to fulfil his true calling of being an outstanding Reggae artist.
Hezron began unleashing a series of hit singles that instantly garnered serious attention within the local music industry. Singles such as "So In Love", which was also a part of VP Records' "Strictly the Best Vol. 41". The song also made a significant impact on the overseas charts, particularly on the South Florida charts and New York Top 20, where it spent 25 weeks on those charts. It was also a success on the Jamaican charts as it spent 2 weeks at Number One on Richie B's Music Countdown chart - Reggae Singles Top 25.
In 2011, Hezron released "Forever And Always" on the "Jahness Riddim" produced by Courtney 'Whatage' of Whatage Productions. It was an instant hit. Other noticeable singles released by Hezron include: "Jamming Till A Morning", "Take Your Clothes Off", "We Shall Find A Way" (another Number One on Richie B's chart) and "Two Places" featuring international Reggae star Shaggy. In 2012, Hezron released yet another real fine song "Can't Come Between" on the "Heart And Soul Riddim" and "We Can Feel Alive" on the "Digital Love Riddim", both for Notice Production. And also "Can't Come Between" was a successful single as it reached the Number One position on many charts across the globe.
Almost all of the aforementioned tunes are included on this "The Life I Live(D)" set as are also other singles such as "Those Days", "Hussle Afi Gwaan", "Can't Tek Di Pressure" and his current chartbuster "Check". Besides the previously released songs, this double-disc features material not heard before. One might think that an album with so many tracks features quite a few fillers, but this ain't the case. On the contrary, there's no weak tune around which is truly amazing and says a lot about this artist and the producers who have worked with this extraordinary talent.
Hezron has a vocal style of his own, although in some tunes his timbre is reminiscent of Beres Hammond as can be withnessed when listening to tracks such as "Her Single Right" and "Those Days". The singer's soulful voice is perfectly fit for songs that deal with all kinda matters of the heart, but on the other hand he also convinces when he delivers songs full of consciousness. This is instantly made clear by the album opener "Inna Di Ghetto", an excellent sufferer's anthem. The quality of this roots tune is maintained throughout in the same kinda songs such as the next sufferer's piece "Hussle Affi Gwaan", the mournful "Until We Meet Again", in which Hezron tells us about a dear brother who has departed, the acoustic gem "Can't Tek Di Pressure", the beautiful collaboration with dub poet Mutabaruka called "Needy And The Greedy", and the standout effort "Lord With You". Don't overlook "Message From The Grave" either, because this is an above par tune sung in a style reminiscent of Mikey Spice. On the lovers side this consummate artist also does a real good job as he delivers captivating songs that will surely strike a chord by both the ladies and the gents. Personal favourites are "Can't Come Between", the moving "Forever And Always", the solid "She's All Woman", and "Welcome Home", a lovers tune with a message for the men. Remains to point out "Her Single Right", which comes on an awesome relicked version of Studio One's classic "Rockfort Rock" riddim. Definitely one of the best lovers tunes featured here.
Hezron amazes with this absolutely top notch debut album, which hopefully is going to propel his career several giant steps forward.