This Change Is Nice
Sebastian Sturm
Rubin Rockers / Rootdown -Soulfood Music
September 29, 2006

Track list
  1. Back Among The Living
  2. Without A Trace
  3. Tell Them The Truth
  4. Reggae Makes The Youth Free
  5. No Need To Be Sad
  6. I Just Want You
  7. Good Life
  8. Time To Say No
  9. Social Living
  10. Time
  11. Soldierman
  12. This Change Is Nice
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
Born in 1980 as son from an Indonesian mother and a German father and raised at the crossing of the German, Belgian and Dutch borders, Sebastian Sturm founded his first punkband when he was 14. The screaming instead of singing fronting a punkband caused the raspy edge his voice still carries, nevertheless a voice very reminiscent (also because of his delivery) of German reggae singers Patrice and Martin Jondo. After the reggae band Jogit Beat that Sebastian Sturm founded dissolved in 2005, he teamed up with one of Germany's longest serving roots outfits, Aachen based Jin Jin, a band that since 1990 has been a constant force in German roots reggae, with several performances at Summerjam to look back upon, and the combination of the young singer and this mature band has led to a wonderful album. Opening this album is the wonderful "Back Among The Living" showcasing what can be expected throughout this album, fine lyrics, delivered beautifully over grooving old school roots reggae riddims, followed by the just a tad more uptempo "Lost Without A Trace" dropping the wonderful question will your star still shine in my space / of like a supernova fade and disappear. The plea to "Tell Them The Truth" features an intro resembling Max Romeo's "Chase The Devil" but the riddim differs with great piano and horn accents backing Sebastian Sturm's fine singing. The completely authentic oldschool roots vibe is maintained through songs like "Reggae Makes The Youth Free", the slower There's "No Need To Be Sad" But Today I Like It Like That where (like Martin Jondo and Patrice are capable of) without being a copy cat the delivery of Bob Marley is brought into memory, the sweet plea to a woman "I Just Want You" To Give Me Your Love and the reflective "Good Life". Then Sebastian Sturm warns about losing yourself in a role you have to play, if you play it everyday in "Time To Say No" which once more also showcases how tight the backing by Jin Jin is, followed by the only cover version on this album (although Sebastian Sturm & Jin Jin recorded an extremely nice take on Bob Marley's "Kinky Reggae" that is not included on this album and only available through I-Tunes), a great take on Burning Spear's classic "Social Living". "Time" is a fine but lyrically probably for some sounding too 'new age' horn driven tune, followed by the too much electric guitar featuring song about the dilemmas faced by the "Soldierman" and by us judging the soldierman. This absolute brilliant debut album is closed by Sebastian Sturm delivering the the title song "This Change Is Nice" over a heavy bass driven and by great horn riffs embellished riddim, to leave a lasting impression. A very promising start to what will undoubtedly be a fruitful career of and cooperation between the youthful Sebastian Sturm and the seasoned Jin Jin band.