Album review
Journey To Jah
Four Music-Columbia
CD (Enhanced)
07 - 10 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Dem Gone
  2. Ina Different Time feat. Jahmali & Daddy Rings
  3. Runaway
  4. Man A Rise feat. Bounty Killer
  5. Love Chant
  6. See Dem Coming
  7. Man Of My Own feat. Morgan Heritage
  8. Leave Us Alone
  9. Long Face
  10. Younger Generation feat. Luciano & Mikey General
  11. Danger Zone feat. Junior Kelly
  12. Empress
  13. Fire Ago Bun Dem feat. Capleton
  14. Jah Ina Yuh Life
  15. Children Of Tomorrow feat. Jack Radics
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Now 27-year old German singjay Gentleman - born Tilmann Otto - first left for Jamaica ten years ago. In those days he was a reggae-novice who owned but a couple of reggae records, most of which he had found in his brother's record collection. On the Island, he got to know the rough country life where the living standard is more than poor when you compare it to western countries. A few years later, Europe's culture television channel Arte showed a programme on reggae in its "Lost In Music" series, with Gentleman featuring as one of the outstanding connoisseurs of reggae music. His many journeys to Jamaica have become a dear habit to Germany's premier reggae star and they have left a deep impact on him. Two hearts beat in the breast of the traveller between Cologne and Kingston, but they both definitely beat in the riddim of reggae. The early enthusiasm for reggae in all its colourful variety has grown to a natural self-sufficiency and expanded consciousness which surpasses a simple knowledge of styles and sounds. The close ties to Jamaica on both a professional and a personal level (he's raising a family with a Jamaican he has been with for seven years now) make him not only one of Germany's most influential reggae artists, but they also give his music an authenticity.
In 1999 Gentleman delivered his locally well received debut album "Troddin On" which featured a wide variety of dancehall riddims. Now here's his second album "Journey To Jah" and this one is sure to raise the white German singjay’s profile in the reggae world and beyond. "Journey To Jah" features tracks mainly recorded at a variety of studios in Jamaica including Pot Of Gold, Tuff Gong, Mixing Lab, Digital B and Black Scorpio. Producers include Gentleman himself and German producers Pionear, I. Rheinbay, Roger & Shorty as well as Jamaican producers such as Bobby "Digital" Dixon, Maurice Johnson aka Black Scorpio, Richie Stephens, Firehouse Crew and Morgan Heritage. As the album title already indicates we're treated to a set brimful modern roots reggae, although some dancehall oriented tunes are around as well. Gentleman comes up with a notable album which benefits from the impeccable fresh riddims, a crisp and clear sound, good production work, conscious lyrics and wicked combinations with top flight Jamaican artists such as Bounty Killer, Morgan Heritage, Luciano & Mikey General, Junior Kelly and Capleton to name a few. Some tunes have already been around on 7" single including "Man Of My Own" with Morgan Heritage and the awesome combination with Capleton entitled "Fire A Go Bun Dem", while others are brand new, never before released efforts. No fillers to be found here, only above par deliveries including some real killers such as "Dem Gone", "Love Chant", "Empress" and the combination tunes "Younger Generation" with Luciano & Mikey General, "Fire A Go Bun Dem" with Capleton and "Children Of Tomorrow" with Jack Radics.
Don't be led astray by the fact that Gentleman is a white German guy, 'cause his lyrics and themes are authentic and he definitely has a style of his own. A truly excellent set!!

Teacher & Mr. T.