May 27, 2004

Track list
  1. Intro - In The Beginning
  2. J.R.E.A.M
  3. A Prayer
  4. The Manue
  5. Feel High feat. Bubu Zorro
  6. Natty Dread
  7. Interlude - Flowers N' Bloom
  8. Feels Good
  9. 24/7
  10. Overdue feat Saphire
  11. Interlude - Uprising
  12. The City feat. Assassin, Zumjay, Da'Ville & Demo Delgado
  13. Birds Have Nests
  14. No Love In Their Hearts
  15. Wipe The Tears feat. Jahmali
  16. Interlude - Conquering Lion
  17. My Father's House
  18. Paradise Lost
  19. Call Her Love
  20. Untrue / Bunsumfaya
  21. Love Is For Two
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Conscious singer and Twelve Tribes of Israel member Melville O'Connor aka Jahmel has been recording since the mid-1980s, but despite the fact that he has released a few albums (including the acclaimed debut LP "Watchful Eyes", "Ruff for Years" and "Then and Now") and several singles, he remains largely unknown.

It's really hard to believe that an artist with such a fine clear and sweet sounding voice and the ability to write a decent tune has yet to make the big breakthrough. However, with this long awaited self-titled album released on Donovan Germain's Penthouse Records, that may soon change. The Firehouse Crew, the band behind the rise of roots acts like Luciano and Sizzla, worked on "Jahmel", so too former Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers bassist Chris Meredith and drummer Wilburn "Squidly" Cole. And also renowned Sly Dunbar, Dean Fraser, Junior Chin, Nambo Robinson, Steven "Lenky" Marsden and Steely & Clevie, had input. Most of the production for this set was handled by Donovan Germain, but also Jahmel shows his experience by producing three of the tracks including "My Father's House", "Feel High" and "Feels Good".

This brand new album offers a little bit of everything... lovers rock, message songs, dancehall tunes and some hip-hop and R&B flavored tracks. Even though not every track is a winner the wait has been worthwhile. There's enough to enjoy as this set has great tunes such as the awesome "J.R.E.A.M." aka "Jah Rules Everything Around Me" across a relicked classic Studio One riddim, "24/7" over Gregory Isaacs' "Number One" riddim, the wonderful combination song with Saphire titled "Overdue", "No Love In Their Hearts", "Wipe The Tears" with Jahmali, and "Love Is For Two". Also worth of hearing are "A Prayer", "My Father's House", "Paradise Lost" and "Natty Dread", a solid rendition of Horace Andy's "Natty Dread A Weh She Want".

Hopefully this album will be picked up by reggae fans worldwide, because Jahmel truly deserves to become a familiar name among a wide audience.