Touched By An Angel
Jah Meek
Heartbeat Europe
January 9, 2006

Track list
  1. Lean On My Shoulder
  2. The Children Are The Future
  3. Life
  4. Decision
  5. Crazy World
  6. Music
  7. Everything Is Possible feat. Luciano
  8. Shooting Down Plane
  9. Mama Don´t Cry
  10. How Far You Are feat. Jahmali
  11. A Little More Love
  12. Roll Call
  13. Natural Woman
  14. Keep Telling Myself
  15. Meet Me In The Wilderness
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
To the German reggae massive Jah Meek might be known from his works with "Söhne Mannheims", "House Of Riddim" or Uwe Banton's "Movements", but on an international level he's still a rather unknown artist. Most likely this won't last that long anymore due to the release of "Touched By An Angel". For those who have never heard of Jah Meek, here's his musical story in a nutshell.
Jah Meek was born and grew up in Robin's Bay on Jamaica's northeast coast in 1971. He began singing whilst at school and entered his first talent competition at the end of the 1980s and came first. However, despite singing on local sound systems, he did not want to part of the hustling culture around local dub cutting studios on the Island, prefering more spiritual vibes. In the early 1990s, Jah Meek worked closely with his friend Jahmali, now one of Jamaica's most respected roots artists, and they wrote and sang many songs together. Jah Meek visited Germany firstly in 1994 and began to work with artists around the Frankfurt dub and dancehall scene such as Tricky Cris and the Raggamuffin Sound System with whom he made his first single "The Riddim" - Global Youth feat. Jah Meek in 1997. He also recorded "Look Before You Leap" (Logic Sound Studios), which hasn't been released. A second visit to Germany a couple of years later led him to sing the lead vocals on the track "Riddim" by Global Youth which was released by Sony Music. Other Jah Meek releases include "Open Your Mind" and "Each One Teach One", both released on Elektrolux Records in Germany. After a short return visit back to Jamaica, where he recorded for the Kariang label, he returned to Germany, where he continued to work and record with artists like Gabriel Le Mar, Tricky Cris, Mighty Tolga and Seeco from Freundeskreis. Jah Meek met producer, artist and soundsystem owner Rootsman from Bradford UK at a Serious Dropout lounge party in Frankfurt in 1996, which led Jah Meek to visit Rootsman's Third Eye Studio in 2000 to record a number of roots and culture-style songs. One of these - "Beautiful World" - has been released on a Meteosound Records compilation in 2002. Beside this he is member of the Afro-German union "Brothers Keepers". The fight against racists, nazis and right-wing conservative politicans in Germany is just one part of the "Brothers / Sisters Keepers" project.
Jah Meek's "Touched By An Angel" is a noteworthy debut album that brings the listener fifteen conscious tunes, all well arranged and expertly produced by Chris Scheidl, Sam Gilly and Jah Meek himself. The acoustic album opener "Lean On My Shoulder" is a good introduction to Jah Meek's vocal and lyrical abilities. Here the singer shows that he posesses a sweet and pure voice (reminiscent of his friend Jahmali) and that he can write a decent, meaningful song. Included on this set are the stunning combination with Luciano entitled "Everything Is Possible" (released on 7" single in December 2004), and also the solid "How Far You Are", which sees Jah Meek teaming up with Jahmali. That Jah Meek can deliver worthwhile solo efforts as well is shown on tracks such as "The Children Are The Future", a message tune performed over a wicked "one drop" riddim, that comes with appealing live played horns, "Crazy World", the moving "Mama Don't Cry", and "Meet Me In The Wilderness". Also worth of hearing are "Life", delivered over an infectious backdrop with a nice melodica, "Decision", the impressive "Shooting Down Plane", and "Roll Call".
With this debut album Jah Meek fully shows that he's a notable newcomer in the reggae arena.