Album review
Junior Kelly
VP Records-Walboomers Music
October 31, 2003

Tracking list

  1. I Nah Bow
  2. Just Another Blend
  3. African Bound
  4. Baby Can We Meet
  5. Smile
  6. Take Me There feat. Calibe
  7. Till The Soil
  8. Black Am I
  9. Youth Dem Scared
  10. Do Them Something
  11. Sinking Feeling
  12. Never Let You Down
  13. Running From The Law
  14. Can't Meditate
  15. Truthful
  16. Trod
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3

Singjay artist Junior Kelly has deep musical roots in reggae. After 18 years in the very competitive Jamaican music business Junior Kelly got his first hit with the song, "Love So Nice", actually one of the biggest reggae hits of 2001. The album of the same name earned Kelly international acclaim from fans and the music community, and he developed his fanbase further with tours in the US and Europe. Over the past years he has carved a unique niche for himself in the contemporary reggae dancehall scene, not least because he continued to attract attention with a series of impressive singles including "Boom Draw", "Sunshine" and "Sleep Last Night", and several great albums. Now Junior Kelly treats his fans and the reggae massive to a really nice new studio album, which captures him in "a traditional roots reggae setting with a thoroughly modern outlook on Rasta, reggae, love and life". Uzziah Thompson, Steven "Lenky" Marsden, Sly & Robbie, Christopher Birch, Michael Fletcher, Dean Fraser, Paul "Wrongmove" Crossdale are some of the musicians who laid the backing tracks, while production credits go to Morgan Heritage, Cedrica "Soljie" Hamilton, George "Dusty" Miller, Roland McDermott, Sly & Robbie and Jr. Kelly himself. Maybe even more than its predecessors this set showcases Kelly's versatility. He shows that he has the ability to chant fire with vengeance on one tune and express heartfelt melody on another. His unique style and rhythmic vocalizations help to attract the listener's attention and keep him involved till the end. On this album you'll find previous singles like the awesome "Til The Soil" and "Black Am I" (already featured on the album "Bless"), as well as his enjoyable new VP single "Smile" plus further highlights such as "I Nah Bow", "Just Another Blend", "African Bound", "Youth Dem Scared", "Baby Can We Meet" and "Trod". Furthermore ""Never Let You Down", "Exile" and "Sinking Feeling" are worth of hearing. Even though it's a decent tune, "Take Me There" (a kind of an R&B style combination with up-and-coming female singer Calibe), sounds somewhat out of order within the rootical settings of this album. In conclusion "Smile" is a well produced entertaining album that should be added to any reggae fan's collection.

Teacher & Mr. T.