Know Thyself
Ras Batch
I Grade Records
November 9, 2012

Know Thyself - Ras Batch Track list
  1. Jah Children
  2. Give Jah Thanks For Life
  3. Stay Fit
  4. Dem Against Jah Rules
  5. Love Always
  6. Guns On The Street
  7. Together
  8. Life Pray
  9. Roots Tradition
  10. Trees feat. NiyoRah
  11. Dem Wrong
  12. Mama Daisy
  13. Know Thyself
  14. Most High feat. Ima
  15. Never Forget
  16. Sacramental Herb
  17. Repatriation
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 15-
Very Good -Votes: 0-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 2-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 19
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
In the early 2000's a new artist from out of the Virgin Islands, who went by the name Batch, emerged and caused quite a stir with his 2003 released sensational debut album "Who You Are". Batch -- actually a singer, musician, producer and arranger -- runs a record label (Sound V.I.Zion), owns a studio, and, along with Midnite, Niyorah, Bambu Station, Ras Attitude, and Pressure Busspipe to name only five, is one of the most influential artists in the Virgin Islands' roots scene. In comparison with "Who You Are", his sophomore album called "Keep The Faith" felt rather incomplete and thus didn't make a real good impression. However the magic returned with the release of his third album, "Jah Guidance", from 2005, which then was followed by "To The Root", "I-ver Strong", and the 2008 released "Vizionary".

"Know Thyself" is the seventh album of this versatile artist, who now calls himself Ras Batch, and while his previous three albums appeared on his own Sound V.I.Zion imprint, this one has been put out by I Grade Records, the respected reggae label out of the Virgin Islands. This means that one can expect an impressive line-up of contributors to this album, and indeed, with names such as Andrew 'Bassie' Campbell, Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Dean Fraser, Laurent 'Tippy I' Alfred, Tuff Lion, Dean Pond, lloyd 'Obeah' Denton, JAH David, Andrew 'Moon' Bain, and T Rock, you have some of the most talented and experienced musicians involved in this project.

Usually an album with seventeen tracks doesn't manage to impress from beginning to end as there are always a few mediocre tunes around, but this is not the case with "Know Thyself". This collection doesn't have any weak moments and impresses throughout. The riddims, some of which are known from earlier releases from the Zion I Kings camp (the collaboration of Zion High Productions, I Grade Records and Lustre Kings), serve as a great accompaniment of the wonderful sound of Ras Batch's voice. The production work is first-class and each song is well arranged.

From the very first tune, the great "Jah Children", it's obvious that "Know Thyself" is an album full of serious reasoning, music to contemplate! Outstanding tracks such as "Stay Fit", "Love Always", "Live Pray", "Roots Tradition", "Never Forget", and the album closer "Repatriation", top all we've heard from Ras Batch before. Besides these highlights there's much more worthwhile material included here. "Give Jah Thanks For Life", a wonderful tune that utilizes the riddim of Toussaint's "Crown I Got", praises the Most High, while the message tune "Guns On The Street", underpinned by NiyoRah's "Capture The Moment" riddim, makes a very strong impression. The same goes for "Together", a big tune with a great chorus. Also worth hearing are the two herb tunes of this set. First there's the wicked collaboration with NiyoRah entitled "Trees", and then the entertaining "Sacramental Herb", which even outmatches the former.

After a four-year hiatus Ras Batch delivers a very strong roots album, his best so far!