I Grade Records
May 26, 2012

Meditation - Nazarenes Track list
  1. Meditation
  2. Food
  3. It's Too Late feat. Lutan Fyah
  4. Mother
  5. On My Way
  6. The Lord Said feat. Midnite
  7. Mamy Blues
  8. Alive
  9. Everlasting
  10. Politrickcians
  11. Get Together
  12. Destiny
  13. Lonesome Lady
  14. Love JAH
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Essential -Votes: 5-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 0-
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A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 9
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
After having recorded their albums "Orit" (2001), "Songs Of Life" (2004), and "Rock Firm" (2008) in Sweden, Nazarenes -- an Ethiopian-born reggae duo consisting of brothers Medhane Tewolde and Noah Isac Tewolde -- have teamed up with I Grade Records' producer/musician Laurent "Tippy I" Alfred from St Croix in the US Virgin Islands for their fourth album called "Meditation". Actually it all started with the 2009 released compilation set "Joyful Noise", which featured "Everlasting" by the Nazarenes. Apparently that song made such a great impression on Laurent "Tippy I" Alfred that he decided to produce a full length album with the two brothers.

Already from the very first track, the beautiful "Meditation" (part of the chanting is done in an ancient Ethiopian language called Ge'ez), it's striking to hear how perfectly well the crystal clear sound created by Laurent "Tippy I" Alfred and his crew suits the Nazarenes' captivating soulful, wailing, haunting voices. You'd swear they have been working together for many years, but they haven't! Three of the fourteen tracks, the great "Food" and the solid "On My Way", which both appeared on a digital released EP earlier this year, as well as "Everlasting" from the "Joyful Noise" set, are already known worthwhile efforts.

But there's much more material included here that's truly worth hearing. Take for example the two collaborations, "It's Too Late" with Lutan Fyah and "The Lord Said" with Midnite. Although both efforts are standouts, it's especially "The Lord Said" that -- after repeated listening -- proves to be a superb tune. Another highlight is "Mother", a song that deals with the wrongdoings of the world towards Africa. Although "Mamy Blues" carries a completely different mood and vibe, it deals with the same issues as "Mother". However now it's not restricted to Africa, but to the entire planet. Then the decent "Alive" comes in, followed by the still great sounding "Everlasting" on the "Flying High" riddim. "Politrickcians" and also "Destiny" definitely need to grow on you, while "Get Together" is a somewhat disappointing piece as its sound and vibe doesn't fit this album. The outstanding "Love JAH" rounds off this collection in great style.

In all the Nazarenes' "Meditation" is a thoroughly good album, that will surely please the more experienced reggae listener.