Home & Away Music / Nordic Steel
December 23, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Distinctive singjay Christopher Campbell aka Norris Man emerged in the second half of the '90s and started to make a name for himself when the King Of Kings and Star Trail production camps released several 7" singles including the legendary "Bad Road". Since the release of his debut album "Persistence" in 2000, he regularly put out albums with the 2006 on Greensleeves released "Home And Away" being his very best. With the release of that Byron Murray produced album it seemed that he would finally break big, but in the end it didn't happen. In recent years Norris Man suddenly became a very prolific artist with five album releases within 18 months -- "Modern Roots", "Norris Man Meets Mi Gaan", "Ghetto Life", "Much More To Life" and "Mystical Journey".
"Mystical Journey" sees Norris Man teaming up with Nordic Steel producers Henrik "Spitfiyah" Persson, Jens "Jatrix" Landegren and Iman "Russ" Esmaeilpour, the ones that also produced "Modern Roots". However this brand new 17 track album also features production works from Mystic Man, Ras Udo, Kevin Lewis and Norris Man himself under his production house, Home & Away Music. While the highly varied "Modern Roots" wasn't a real good album as it lacked consistency, this new collection of tunes is a far better effort. In terms of quality it almost matches albums like "Persistence", "Home And Away" and "Captura", which belong to his most acclaimed outings to date.
The gorgeous roots tune "In The Valley", with its awesome bassline and lyrics that keep you involved, instantly draws your attention and raises expections. Be assured you won't be disappointed by the tracks that follow after the album opener. The next track, the matching "Give Praise", makes a very good impression, while also the standout "Bully" makes fully clear that here Norris Man is at his very best. The same goes for the contagious "Holding My Own", a great effort delivered over a wicked riddim. With "Smell The Coffee" the mood and vibe changes, but the conscious message is still there. Interesting tune! Then it's time for the first lovers piece, the previously released single "These Feelings", which features harmony vocals by Swedish dancehall star, Million Stylez. Als touching the lovers theme are "Picture Myself" on a wonderful slow-paced riddim, the decent "I Found Love", and the lesser appealing "Falling For You".
Back to roots music with the outstanding "A Friend In H.I.M.", a tune you simply want to hear over and over again. It's followed by the solid, more light-hearted sounding "Ordain The Strength". The real nice "Take Control" urges you to take control of your own life, something everyone should do. Almost the same kinda message, but in this case you'll have to let Jah take control, is expressed in "Treasure Your Soul". The latter, together with the album closer "God Above", is a track that doesn't impress us that much. This certainly can't be said about "Babylon Affi Fade", which makes a serious impression and surely is one of the standouts here.
Norris Man's 13th full-length studio effort fully displays the artist's vocal and lyrical skills and talent. And although this is a thoroughly solid album with some real good tunes, it's not likely that this collection will propel him to the forefront of reggae music.