Album review
Junior Kelly
Jet Star - Penitentiary Records

Tracking list

  1. Juvenile
  2. What Will It Take
  3. Poor Cry
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Blessing Flow
  6. Music
  7. Whoa Lord
  8. Love In All Races
  9. Can't Stop
  10. Love
  11. Please Remember
  12. Living Hell
  13. Love Acapella
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Although in reggae business since 1985, when he recorded his debut single "Over Her Body", it lasted almost one and a half decade before roots singjay Junior Kelly managed to break big. It was the January 1999 recorded tune "Love So Nice" that catapulted Junior Kelly's career, on a local as well as international level. It was London-based Jet Star Records that soon got wind of the song and being convinced of Junior Kelly's unique talents and great potential they invited him to London to record an album for them. Under the guidance of UK's foremost riddim duo Mafia & Fluxy, who were responsible for most of the production work, Junior Kelly recorded a truly fine debut set entitled "Rise", which saw its release in the first half of the year 2000.
At the beginning of a new year Jet Star, in association with Penitentiary Records from Jamaica, unleashes Junior Kelly's eagerly awaited second album. Recorded and mixed in its entirety at Music Works in Kingston 5, Jamaica W.I., the "Juvenile" album showcases Junior Kelly on the next level as it marks the natural progression from this artist since the deliverance of his debut album and his hit single "Love So Nice". It's obvious that it makes "Juvenile" an even more consistent album than his debut album "Rise". Vocally Junior Kelly utilizes a style which best can be described as a cross between Sizzla and Anthony B, but one can't deny he is very much his own man. Lyrically Junior Kelly definitely has something to tell. Every tune is a conscious message aimed primarily at the youths, poor and exploited. Besides fresh laid riddim tracks "Juvenile" also features some riddims that are adapted, although the originals are mostly hard to trace. The excellent title track "Juvenile" and the solid "What Will It Take" were previously released on single. Then Junior Kelly vocally and lyrically excels in the following three outstanding pieces, "Poor Cry", "Ethiopia" and "Blessing Flow". "Music" is a nice tune and the same goes for "Whoa Lord". A solid "Love In All Races" is followed by "Can't Stop", an entertaining and catchy 'love' tune. The next lovers tune has a totally different mood, a striking effort which brings us Junior Kelly's vocal performance solely accompanied by an acoustic guitar. At the end this tune gets a reprise by means of an acapella version. "Please Remember" and the killer tune "Living Hell" are among the brightest sparks on the album.
This "Juvenile" album unmistakably confirms that Junior Kelly truly is a name to be closely watched!

Teacher & Mr. T.