Rob Symeonn
Goldheart Music / Jah Youth Productions
CD / LP / Digital Release
February 24, 2014

Track list
  1. Ithiopia
  2. Forgive Them
  3. Day By Day
  4. Mama Said feat. Ragga Lox
  5. Tired Of Work
  6. Night On The Town
  7. Jah Only
  8. Life Is Precious
  9. Monkey Wrench
  10. Seems Like
  11. Never Too Late
  12. Live Upright
  13. Because Of You
  14. Grass Is Greener
  15. Respect Due
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Essential -Votes: 2-
Very Good -Votes: 5-
Good -Votes: 3-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
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Total votes : 10
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
It's a Blessing when a hard working Roots veteran gets proper attention, respect and representation. Deserving of a work of absolute production, marketing and overall fyah. That man is Rob Symeonn, "THE SPARK IGNITER". The massive may not be too familiar with this incredible talent but that all changes with the release of his third album, "Indigenous". This natty dread has his credentials and has delivered a work that raises the bar and pure definition of REGGAE MUSIC! This compelling set demands the attention of Creation...

Rob Symeonn is a bonafide veteran with decades of experience. He honed his skills at New York City Sound Systems like Freedom International and Macca Bee. His royal delivery first came to full attention on the "Easy Star Vol. 1" compilation in 1997 with "Delilah". The following year, he linked with Hawaii's THC (The Heartical Crew) for his debut set, "Abso-Root-ly Hot", which was a resounding success. He continued with a slew of masterful singles and sparked more interest with his sophomore release, "The Chosen One" (Red Bud, 2006) that featured the cream of New York area musicians and is flawless! He has proven himself in the studio and on stage with magnificent performances with Everton Blender, Wailing Souls, King Yellowman, Sister Carol, Tiger and countless others. He is a huge favorite in Hawaii, New York and will enlighten more audiences starting in Mexico next month. A totally original artist that's able to seam the vocalisms of Fred Locks, Barry Brown and Hugh Mundell with authenticity.

"Indigenous" is indeed genius as it is a unity production of renowned producers Jonahgold (Sweden), Jah Youth (Hawaii) and Ticklah (New York). These producers have been responsible for some fantastic works from Daweh Congo to Sheya Mission to Perfect Giddimani and Rob. A great ensemble of musicians are here; most of them responsible for the riddims on Daweh Congo's masterpiece, "Ghetto Skyline" (Goldheart Music, 2008). Drummies include Robbie Rulah, Jonahgold, Daniel Spahni and Carl Ottoson. Bassies are Jonahgold, Desmond Foster and Anders Keppelin. Guitars are licked by Desmond Foster (one of the best in the business), Jonahgold, Zilverzurf. Keys are bubbled by Jonahgold, who contributes crucially on percussion and backing vox as well. Additional players include saxman Colin Dyall and Richard Daniellson on harmonica.

This set opens with Ithiopia. A sincere and spiritual ode to Mother Africa. Rootically urgent, Rob sings so smoothly with some Fred Locks nuance over an organic riddim sweetened by Desmond's licks and Jonahgold's bubbling. Great harmony here! Forgive Them showed up as a single last year and really grabbed the massive's attention. A plea for tolerance that draws you in like a Lion's paw; it boasts rich production, textured riddim and Rob's undeniable style. Day By Day exemplifies Rob's songwriting skills. It's pure spirituality inna Lover's style. Ethereal vocals and riddim are hand in hand. Mama Said with veteran chanter Ragga Lox is a gem. Rob delivers with a Barry Brown essence and Ragga Lox's rugged inflections are dynamite. Lyrics like "if you want to reach far, show me your company" are hard hitting. Great arrangement from Sweden's Reggae Empress Sheya Mission (one of the best voices in Reggae!!!). Tired Of Work features Jonahgold on all instruments with Daniel Spahni's wicked drum fills. Jonahgold is one boss musician/engineer/producer! The reality track shows Rob's diversity; from smoothness to seamless scatting. Hard hitting anthem. The previously released single, Night On The Town fits nicely here; a joyous excursion with Jonahgold's mixing that's reminiscent of last year's "Dubby Skyline" (dub set of "Ghetto Skyline"). The Ticklah produced Jah Only was reviewed last year on the site and this is Rob at his best; singing praises inna UK fashion. Press rewind again and again!

Life Is Precious is pure excellency and triumphancy. It's a deeply rooted anthem that harks back to Reggae's Golden Age in every sense. Great work to the bridge. Monkey Wrench shows Rob riding over a skanking early Dancehall riddim (complete with Desmond's Bingy Bunny style riddim guitar) and great backing vox. A pure Rastafari anthem and keen observation of bad minded people. Seems Like first appeared on Jah Youth's immensely popular "Indo Riddim" compilation and it's absolutely hot! Singing inna Hugh Mundell style, Rob rides this colossal riddim and educates about the highs and lows of loving close. Richard Daniellson's haunting harmonica seamlessly flows throughout. Never Too Late is pure ites. Rob blends his original scatting with memories of the late, great Lacksley Castell ("Morning Glory") and makes for an inspirational anthem of hope. Jonah, Desmond and Daniel provide a sensational riddim. Live Upright is pure positivity with a bouncing musical backbone that Rob utilizes in his flowing and urgent style. Outstanding mix!! Because Of You is a massive Love song done in classic UK Lover's Rock fashion. It possesses rich production and riddim value. Grass Is Greener is a keen look into false pretense that surrounds us and the great chord arrangement makes this an instant anthem. The set wisely closes with Respect Due. An honest and genuine to all mothers out deh and Rob mashes it over a smart and taut riddim.

There are many words to describe "Indigenous". Masterpiece, defining, groundbreaking, smashing, instant classic... From Rob Symeonn's diversity to the organic musicianmanship to the dedicated production; this is an example of what happens when Blessed Heart and Soul from all over Creation come together for a project that originated from Zion vision. Every track is a winner; there's not a note or lyric out of place. No surprise this album would be good - this is beyond that. Even if you've never heard of Rob Symeonn; PLEASE seek his latest work out. GO DEH!!!!!!!