Jah Cure, “Ghetto Life”
[VP Records]

Jah Cure - "Ghetto Life" - VP RecordsWhen you have producer Beres Hammond and musicians like the Roots Radics, Gumption Band, and Firehouse Crew behind a voice like Jah Cure’s, it isn’t difficult to imagine how the Rockers style of the post-millennium just got richer, sweeter and more potent than that of the 1970s. If you’re patient, every so often an album like this can unfold with enough roots-thickness and righteous nourishment for your soul. Jah Cure trades the microphone back and forth with Sizzla on “King in this Jungle,” then stops by the dancehall, roping in Jah Mason who deejays on “Run Come Love Me,” a somewhat seemingly smooth Lovers Rock track, with sporadic bursts of energy, compliments Mason’s fire. This one will win any Rasta princess’ heart.

Lashing out at this Babylon system is nothing unusual to this Jamaican who holds nothing back in his solo attempts. As Beres Hammond’s sultry, singing textures grace the background vocals on “Western Region” easing the ride to Mt. Zion, this ride is one of the ultimate sounds in nu-roots music. Steady we go, steady we trod, and we should be seeing the light soon when Jah Cure soothes our pains on “Zion Await,” an open gate of hope, sweet singing and duty-free path to freedom street. Also included on this classic album are street anthems such as the title track and “Dung in Dey,” pushing the richness of his oratory charm into an even purer scent of African greatness. And near the end with “Vibes Man A Build,” as his vocals echo and sail from the wide-open space sound chamber, imagine you’re into the new life, now entering a place of true peace. Give thanks for one of the wickedest roots albums of 2003.