SHOK WAVE is your weekly new REGGAE music blog. SHOK WAVE finds music that is out there in the form of Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Ska, Dub, Reggae Rock & anything else musical with a Caribbean origin and in any language.
Here is what we found this week.......Enjoy!
The first release of the week is a great new soca riddim called Taebay riddim out of the Spice Island Grenada and every song is good and, for the most part, has good lyrics. They are Bloodz 'Addict,' Double J 'You & I,' Killer T 'Oh Gosh,' Metal 'No Horn,' and Sal & Killer T with an anthem to the rapists called 'Under Age Girl.'
Ragga/Groovy soca is the swing right now and I guess that's why I am liking so much soca these days. Out of Vincy Mas comes Spade with 'Something About You.'
I love when a soca song, especially a groovy/ragga soca song, has both ingredients: good music & good, positive lyrics. All this comes together on the new 'Issa Blessin' by Nnika, who we have not heard from in some time. A nice return to the music and it is a blessing.
Rebelution have made it big in the American reggae scene. Here's their newest single 'Celebrate' and it's one of their best, as it 'celebrates' that you'll never be strange to us.
Tomorrows Bad Seeds have resurfaced not just doing shows, now they have new music, too. These guys still got it. The melodies hit on 2 new tracks. 'Trinity' is here to set you free with love & light, while 'Frequency' is love. So how can you go wrong : great words & melodies.
Jamaica's first official boy band is here. They are called 8 because 8 is enough and they love music. Their first official single is reggae with a touch of pop called 'School Boy Anthem.' The video just released.
Black Ship is a new reggae band out of Europe with a great classic, old style sound of reggae. They set sail 'On The Sea' and do it best on songs 'The Park' , 'Neighborhood' and 'Such A Love.'
Etana releases her new album 'Reggae Forever.' It starts with 'Free Pt. 2.' - originally on the last album. Reggae is always fighting for something so 'Fighting For Nothing' is more about a lover's quarrel. Reggae is also about love, so 'Spread The Love.' The different sounding ska tune 'You're The One' is just one of the new sounds from Etana. 'Sprung' has different sounding keys and they are not out of place. I think 'Soldier' which is more love for her man, uses tuba in reggae for the first time. 'My Man' is Etana's bid to brag about her 'Man' on the 'Reggae Fest Riddim', which has been hitting for the last 6 months. What makes it 'Good Enough' ? In this bid to give her man everything, sounds like nothing is 'Good Enough.' One of the albums best songs 'Burned' has more edge to it and has that real rock guitar, not the reggae rock sound of the American bands. The album is so solid that it has 14 songs and 9 of the first 10 stand the test. Just when you think the album's ending on a downward swirl, 'Jah Love,' I know will save the end.
Iba Mahr releases 'Get Up And Show' with his original style that combines his slurs and stretching out notes in his singing, like he's crying. It's helped him, for good or bad, to stand out from the pack. The title track & 'No Vanity' are the ones that 'Get Up & Show' on this album.
Morgan Heritage release a new pop styled reggae song called 'Pineapple Wine' with 4 versions. One with Latin flavor with Cultura Profetica, another with Island Style with Fiji & Common Kings and an alternative mix. I like the latin one best, maybe it's the Miami in me. The original appears on their latest album 'Avrakedbra.'
New artist Yaksta comes with a fun new song not straight reggae, but a hybrid of some sort. It's called 'Boogie Woogie.'
One of Jamaica's best products right now is in the name of Romain Virgo, so much talent. He has so much depth and emotion in him. He's on his 4th album since winning 'Rising Stars' and it's called 'Lovesick,' which is also the latest of the albums singles. A great album with the sounds of reggae, lover's rock reggae, dancehall reggae, pop reggae and even a song that sounds like a classic American soul in the song 'Heartbeat.' Several bonafied hits from it already: 'Stay With Me', 'Caress Me' and the making of the hit 'Trouble' is happening as we speak. The album is about Romain's real life experiences and most are in the form of love, the essence and center of Romain's being. Two tracks that stand out and are potential hits are 'Cruise' because I love how it starts with it's stripped & raw feel. Then there's 'Hold On,' which reminds me of a Beres Hammond type of tune. Then the dancehall comes alive with 3 tracks that sound like they could be on pop radio in the US and even have all the imitators on it: Drake, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, Bruno Mars & Beyonce. There's the new 'Will You Be There,' the hit 'Now' and the new 'Still' on the 'Skyscraper riddim.' He covers so much and does it so well. Let the album sink in and really feel his energy, vibe and music as it touches you.
Jah Cure revives an old tune, which is rare for him. Jah Cure normally sings his songs and has reversed the trend for Jamaican reggae singers. This rare occasion happens with the classic 'Armagideon.' Originally from 1976 by Bunny Wailer off his debut solo & classic album 'Black Heart Man.'
Lastly, the realist riddim of the year to preach truth & rights as well as the things that most will NOT talk about. It is the 'Anti-Racism' riddim. Here to bun out corruption it is a 'Revolution Time.' Many a songs on this riddim as well as a few versions are the first is to expose the 'Greedy Politician' & ask the question 'Why Lie?' . Then we take it to the motherland with she came 'From The Dust' and even the young ras is asking to 'Hurry Up' with 'Boom Draw.' All this is striving for the 'One Day' with no selfishness, no division.' Randy Valentine gets the riddim named after his tune and he has one of the second version called the 'Rosa Parks mix' version sounding better. We saved the best for last: Black Prophet, who is the closest thing I have ever heard to Burning Spear, comes with 'Good Neighbors' and Phil Watkins' 'Feeling Irie,' which it does at the end of the riddim.
Vershon is a true ghetto youth who has made it out of the slums of Jamaica to create a better life for himself through music. His new album 'One More Day' is a testament to that struggle. The title track is based on Buju Banton's 'Close One Yesterday' and is my favorite. This has created his brand and slang known as 'Queffa' and he's the champion of it. I don't think he is a Queffa which means killer. He just uses the word a lot. Now the boy is 'Winter Fresh.' He doesn't leave out the upcoming youths either. He has tracks with Jupitar, Govana, and Gott Yo.
The 'Golden Pain' riddim is real talk. Several real ghetto youth a come strong pon dis one. Putting in the work for several years is Teejay and his tune on the riddim 'Pray' will be the first we play. Vershon puts it straight in 'Enemy.' Lastly Govana is right there with Teejay and this is another first for us with 'Golden Plan.'