Album review
If Jah
Tony Rebel
VP Records

Tracking list

  1. Jah by my side
  2. Love fountain
  3. Celebrate life
  4. Jah will never let us down
  5. Africa
  6. Warning
  7. Ready to go (featuring Marcia Griffiths)
  8. Know Jah
  9. Mama land (featuring Mutabaruka)
  10. Human blood
  11. Keep your joy
  12. Revolution
  13. Who you are
  14. Bible chant
  15. Jah by my side (acoustic mix)
  16. Think on these things
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

"If Jah" (aka "Jah by my side") contains a wonderful selection of roots chants from the deejay/singer whose work has spearheaded the cultural revival since its inception back in the early nineties. The album opens strong with Tony Rebel's ode to Jah, a smooth, powerful song that rides the fast, modern riddim nicely, thus setting the pace for the rest of the material on this album. The second track has the same high quality standard as the previous one. Tony Rebel is in good shape as he voices over the "So much trouble" riddim, one of three revitalized riddims of Bob Marley songs included (the other two are "One drop" and "The heathen"). Track after track Tony Rebel delivers excellent tunes on appealing and wicked riddims. Also worth pointing out is the duo with Mutabaruka, a traditional-sounding cut that builds a high level of energy praising Africa. Furthermore it's praiseworthy that the "acoustic versions" of "Jah by my side" and "Know Jah" (retitled "Bible chant") are included on this album as well. Overall this album is a fine mix of tried and tested material and new works of the same calibre. Almost every track is a killer, with "Who you are" being the only filler to be found. Next to his own produced songs this set also collects songs he recorded for Philip "Fattis" Burrell, Bobby "Digital" Dixon, Donovan Germain, Richard "Bello" Bell and Courtney Cole. This album is pure culture and solid as a rock !

Teacher & Mr. T.