Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

The Love Of Jah
Steele
MOBS
CD / 2LP
September 28, 2007

Track list
  1. The Love of Jah
  2. Spirit Of The Rastaman
  3. Goose And Ganda
  4. Constant Smile
  5. Confession
  6. Slave Driver
  7. New World
  8. The Truth Be Told
  9. What's Wrong Wid Wi feat. George Nooks
  10. Pray
  11. If It Don't Work Out
  12. Do Bad By Myself
  13. Everything Is Everything
  14. You Needed Me
  15. Imagine
  16. New World Remix feat. Queen Ifrica
  17. Love Hurts
  18. Shining Star
  19. Lost Without You
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Almost three years after the release of his well received debut set "Uncorrupted", Steele delivers his eagerly awaited sophomore album entitled "The Love Of Jah". Not only his first full length album showed the potential of a much promising artist, but also his various nominations for the Canadian Reggae Music Awards over the past years indicated that Steele is a singer who has the skill and talent to put his name firmly on the reggae map.

The "Uncorrupted" album got very good reviews and was truly worth of hearing. This, and the natural growth and development of an artist, as well as the fact that it took quite some time before a brand new set hit the streets, raised expectations. To a certain degree "The Love Of Jah" lives up to expectations. Steele's smooth vocal delivery perfectly fits songs that deal with matters of the heart, and thus tracks such as "Constant Smile", "Everything Is Everything" and "Confession" are just great to hear. But also in roots and reality tunes his voice comes to full expression as shown with efforts like e.g. "Spirit Of The Rastaman" and "The Truth Be Told". One of the standouts is the combination with reggae crooner George Nooks, "What’s Wrong Wid Wi", which deals with the issue of black on black violence. Also great is "New Order", both as solo effort and in combination with Queen Ifrica.

Rather disappointing are his renditions of Bob Marley's "Slave Driver", John Lennon's "Imagine" and Anne Murray's "You Needed Me". That Steele is able to deliver a good rendition is shown with solid versions of The Casinos' "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" (re-titled "If It Don't Work Out"), The Manhattans' "Shining Star" across Sly & Robbie's "Taxi" riddim, and Robin Thicke's "Lost Without You".

Another point of criticism is that some of the musical backdrops sound somewhat cheap, most notable in refurnished classic riddims like "Throw Me Corn" ("Goose And Ganda", "I'm Just A Guy" ("Constant Smile") and "Hypocrites" ("Do Bad By Myself"). Would love to hear Steele on riddims produced by people like Bobby Digital, Donovan Germain, Shane Brown, or even Donovan "Don Corleon" Bennett. Pretty sure he would benefit from it.

All in all a decent collection of tunes, but the next step he'll have to take is to work on a more balanced album, in particular with regard to the musical backing.