The Universal Cure
Dangerzone Production / Sobe Entertainment
April 14, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 3/4||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
More than one year ago the highly anticipated "True Reflections ... A New
Beginning" collected several of the most beautiful singles that were released during
the 8 years before when Jah Cure was forced to spend that time in
jail. Enigmatic roots singer Siccature Alcock - popularly known as Jah Cure - for those
who don't know, got a 15 year sentence in 1999 after he was found guilty of rape and gun
charges. Regardless of whether or not Jah Cure was truly guilty (rumours go that it was
a setup initiated by the Jamaican government), it's the young singer's music that has to
be judged on its own merits and will surely be now, especially on this second album after
his release "The Universal Cure" for the Dangerzone a.k.a. Danger Zone camp and SoBe Entertainment.|
This album opens with the smashing "Sticky" across Delmar 'Della Danger' Drummond's superb for his own Danger Zone produced 'Jam Down'-riddim, followed by the excellent combination "Hot Long Time" featuring Mavado, Junior Reid and mainstream charts topping US rapper Flo Rida. The redundant inclusion of a next version of "Reflections" a.k.a. "Behind Those Prison Walls" precedes the weak ballad "Soon Come" before things improve again with a wonderful rendition of (Bob Marley &) the Wailers' "Burnin' & Lootin'" from 1973 and then worsen again with the once more weakish ballad "My Life" for Danger Zone. "Mr. Jailer" is a wonderful combination with Miami's Phyllisia followed by "Freedom" another weak ballad on which the rock-style guitar irritates even more than on the aforementioned campfire-ballad attempts.
What a great reggae song should sound like is made clear in "Sufferation" on which the blend of the riddim and Jah Cure's voice result in a beautiful tune, followed by the very fine "Journey" across Danger Zone's excellent 'Journey'-riddim. The next tune is the magnificent "Forever" over 'No Combo', the wonderful 'Breakfast In Bed' relick from Nicetime Music and once more alongside Phyllisia the extremely strong title track "The Universal Cure". "Two Way Street" for Yard Vybz Entertainment across Baby G's 'Drop Leaf'-ish 'Miracle'-riddim is a wonderful lovers tune and then Jah Cure delivers the captivating piano-ballad "U Believe In Me". The combination "Call On Me" featuring US R&B singer Keyshia Cole included on the promo copy of this album didn't make it to the final released version, but has been replaced by an equally strong remake of that song alongside Phyllisia.
The last tune on "The Universal Cure" is Jah Cure's very strong ganja tune "Green Grass", also for Yard Vybz Entertainment across Baby G's massive 'The Mission'-riddim, though the tune is nowhere near reaching the anthemic qualities of Mavado's "On The Rock" and Stephen & Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley's "The Mission". Danger Zone and SoBe Entertainment have released a fine successor of "True Reflections ... A New Beginning" but it is in my opinion unfortunately not the great new Jah Cure album that you would have expected and wanted it to be. The inclusion of yet another and not stronger version of "Reflections" a.k.a. "Behind Those Prison Walls", "Soon Come" and "My Life" seriously diminishes the impact of the other songs on this album. Overall however the strong tunes do outweigh the weakish ballads by far, so "The Universal Cure" still is more than worth buying.