Album review
Never Give Up
Jah Mason
April 17, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Gideon Start
  2. Mount Zion High
  3. They Don't Luv We
  4. Never Give Up
  5. Danger Zone
  6. See Them Crying feat. Iqulah
  7. Kibuts Livication
  8. Mother
  9. Caan Lef Mi Woman
  10. Righteousness
  11. Love's The Way
  12. Life So Joyful
  13. Dem Gone
  14. Watch
  15. Rise And Shine
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Since some five years by now 30-year old Jah Mason (a derivation of his original stage name, Perry Mason) has attracted attention with some notable single releases like e.g. "Hard Mama Work", "Rainbow Circle Throne", "Cool It Down", "Empty Barrell", the combination tune with Jah Cure "Run Come Love Me" and his three full length albums "Keep Your Joy" (Ghetto Tech), "Unlimited" (Reggae Vibes) and "Working So Hard" (Brickwall). Despite all these efforts Jah Mason still hasn't managed to break big and thus he's still a woefully overlooked singjay who deserves much more notoriety than he currently commands. We doubt if his fourth album titled "Never Give Up" will help him achieve wider recognition. Not that this album isn't any good, on the contrary it is Jah Mason's best album to date. No, chances are that this cd will be hard to locate outside Europe, or even more specific outside France. But anyway... to appreciate this album to the max you need to be open to something a little different, 'cause you're not treated to a common Jamaican singjay album. "Never Give Up" brings fresh sounding roots and dancehall music, but also features tracks that undeniable incorporate elements of different genres like e.g. R&B, hip-hop and acoustic folk. This great new rootsy collection of tunes features the former singles "Mount Zion High", "Dem No Love" and the wonderful tribute song "Mother". The latter is one of the slow, moody ballad-type tunes that are featured on this cd. Other efforts in the same vein are the powerful "They Don't Luv We", the awesome "Love's The Way" and the inspired "Rise & Shine". The latter is one of the tunes included here on which Jah Mason displays his skills as a singer. Probably the best example of the fact that he has his a striking voice is the strong roots cuts "Righteousness". Also worth of hearing are standout efforts such as the album opener "Gideon Start", the uptempo "Mount Zion High", "Danger Zone", "Kibuts Livication" and "Life So Joyful". All in all this is a well balanced and varied album that keeps you involved till the very end. Truly worthwhile picking up.
"Never Give Up" is produced by Israeli reggae musician Danny Piloni Kark in association with Kariang Records, a roots label from Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Piloni has built all riddims at his Giant Baby Studio in Israel, with further recordings done in Jamaica at Kariand Studion, Music Works and Kingston Muzik. Additional musicians include Yossi Fine, Tamir Barzilay, Michael Frost, Gal James Sivan, Mitchell, Rami Bar Ilan, Efi Vice, Russ D. and the experienced reggae veterans Bongo Herman and Dean Fraser.

Teacher & Mr. T.