Revelation Part 1 (The Root Of Life)
Stephen Marley
Universal - Republic
June 28, 2011

Revelation, Pt. 1: The Root of Life - Stephen Marley Track list
  1. Made In Africa feat. Wale & The Cast Of Fela
  2. False Friends
  3. Break Us Apart feat. Capleton
  4. Can't Keep I Down
  5. No Cigarette Smoking feat. Melanie Fiona
  6. Freedom Time
  7. Jah Army feat. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley & Buju Banton
  8. Old Slaves
  9. Pale Moonlight (How Many Times)
  10. She Knows Now
  11. The Chapel feat. Ziggy Marley
  12. Tight Ship feat. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
  13. Working Ways feat. Spragga Benz
  14. Now I Know
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Essential -Votes: 31-
Very Good -Votes: 9-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 4-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 46
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Many of Bob Marley's children have followed in their father's footsteps as they also embarked on a musical career, but only few of them have been really very successful. All of them surely have the talent, but so far only Ziggy, Damian and Stephen have managed to achieve international star status. Of these three brothers, Grammy winning singer and producer Stephen Marley is certainly the most talented one.

Four years after the release of "Mind Control", a rather hit and miss debut album, he returns with his second self-produced proper album entitled "Revelation Part 1: The Root Of Life". With his new collection of tunes, Stephen Marley brings mainly roots reggae music reminiscent of his father's works towards the end of the 1970s, while Part 2 -- due for release in the autumn of 2011 -- is planned to be a more electic and future-minded affair.

The wonderful album opener, the meditative "Made In Africa" with a contribution from Nigerian American rapper Wale and backing vocals from the cast of the musical Fela, simply links up with "Inna Di Red", the last track of "Mind Control". From there the listener is treated to a very consistent and beautifully produced roots reggae album, one that vocally, lyrically and sometimes musically comes very close to what Bob Marley has been doing during his heydays. Just listen to classic 'one drop' of "False Friends", a perfect example of a tune that could have been Bob's. In fact this album features a few do-overs of songs Bob Marley recorded himself including the brilliant Studio One classics "Freedom Time" and the incredible "The Chapel" aka "Selassie Is The Chapel" (the original being Elvis Presley's "Crying In The Chapel"). Even a re-creation of "Pimper's Paradise" can be heard when listening to the single "No Cigarette Smoking", which happens to be a ganja tune.

And there's much more niceness to enjoy! The combination with Capleton, "Break Us Apart", is a winner, while the blues-flavored "Can't Keep I Down" is also worth hearing. The militant "Jah Army" across a hard-hitting relick of Sly & Robbie's "General Penitentiary" riddim, and with great contributions from Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley & Buju Banton, is a big tune! The mood changes completely with "Old Slaves", a very strong tune in which we almost literally can hear the chains and chants of the slaves. Then it's time for matters of the heart with two solid love songs in a row, "Pale Moonlight (How Many Times)" and "She Knows Now". The great "Tight Ship", coming across a 'one-drop' riddim with again a guest appearance by Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, aims straight at the heads of those who criticize the Marley family. The deejay Spragga Benz adds a nice dancehall flavor to "Working Ways", which is a solid tune anyway.

The acoustic "Now I Know" rounds off a great album in fine style. Do check it out!