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!
Morgan Heritage "Loyal"
Morgan Heritage stays "Loyal" to their original roots reggae sound while expanding it by showing the influence of all the time they have been spending in Africa. It's about keeping the spirit & pride of Africa alive. To understand that connection and influence with Africa, the album opens and closes with the roots rocking 'Africa We Seh.' Yes rasta it's cool to be conscious especially with tracks like 'Loyalty,' 'Beach & Country' which I love the vibe and 'The Awakening,' which is targeting the conscious state of mind. Now those tracks which are keeping their roots reggae tradition are in order they appear on the album: 'Bedrock,' 'The World Is Yours,' 'Slave and Slave Master' shows the rise above this mentality, which started in Africa. The African influence is heard on 'Pay Attention' with Patoranking and it's bam bam influenced afrobeat to give a dancehall feel. 'Give It To Me' is more of that combination of sounds. 'Africa & Jamaica' is the true connection of the two on this album, a dancehall infused afrobeat with Stonebwoy & Diamond Platinumz. 'Weekend Greens' is one that expands their sound and audience by recruiting American bands Iration & Pepper and their solution to the stresses of the capitalistic life. They need more of the 'Beach & Country.' Lastly, Mojo Morgan ropes in and introduces his son Esh Morgan on 'Home' with an acoustic style song & sound. So overall this album is about the growth of the royal family of reggae and expanding their sound and audience. The title track could have also been 'Africa & Jamaica' or 'Africa We Seh.'
Maxi Priest 'All Comes Back To Love"
The newest album is produced by Shaggy from Maxi Priest called "all Comes Back To Love" and opens with the first single 'I'm Alright.' It makes sense for these two to get together with the sweet sounds of Maxi and the gruff voice of Shaggy. Two of reggae's most successful combine energies. They connect in song, not just in production, three more times. The next one is definitely a cool one and how Maxi is trying to persuade her to give him a chance 'Cool Nuh.' Just the way he sings it alone sounds great. Maxi is at it again in 'If I was Your Man.' I absolutely love the title track 'All Comes Back To Love.' Just sweet, cool and sexy, Maxi's killing it on this album with the ladies. Even better reason why the album is called 'All Comes Back To Love.' Ultimately, it's what we all need. Maxi changes his plea in 'If I Could Change It' over a sexy dancehall beat to redeem himself. Really curious to know if he wrote this song. Turns out is a major team involved not only in this song, the album overall. Max does get credit, just not sure how or for what. The album releases just before summer ends and reggae always gets associated with summer so 'It's A Summer Vibe' y'all. Maybe next summer. An R&B sound has been key to Priest's success. With Estelle, Anthony Hamilton & Shaggy on 'Anything You Want' is geared for big things over an uptempo mixed vibe beat. Itt's sound works for the radio, clubs, street, and late night or even early morning. 'Out Of The Rain' joins two of reggae's more pop side of reggae when Inner Circle joins Maxi on 'Out In The Rain.' Persuasion is the name of Maxi & Shaggy's game as heard on 'My Pillow' and these two are very convincing. My philosophy has always been to put your best first and this album does just that. It's not to say the later part of the album is not good. The better songs are definitely consistently through track ten, the charm 'My Pillow.' 'Bridge You Burn' is the exception. I like the album. It has alot of good songs and a few greats.
Various Artists "Out Of Many riddim"
Obviously a very Jamaican riddim with the name "Out Of Many." A nice riddim to say the least and all have a vibe. It opens with it's best. Kumar former lead singer of Ragin Fyah opens with 'Change.' Things can always from one second to the next, for good or for bad. A serious problem throughout the Caribbean is addressed in 'Dutty Man' by Romain Virgo which we reviewed already. Upcoming artist Jah Izrel has been making a name for himself with every release and 'Sad To See' is no exception. I really like the different sound Tommy Lee Sparta has on 'Tomorrow's A Better Day.' Similar vibe to 'Change.' Jesse Royal only releases good music and 'Weight On Your Shoulders' keeps it on track for consistency. Royal Bu seals the riddim with 'Woman.'
Various Artists "Celebration riddim"
Only four songs on the riddim. You see dis riddim ya, full melody. I never heard of any of the artists or real friends productions. They all hold their own. The two to really talk about starts with the one with melody & slurs. The bwoy can hold a note too him seet yuh see. Hugupungeh is talking to his 'Baby' and if this tune nuh get har none will. The other tune is the one that named the riddim 'Celebration.' This song and the riddim itself remind me of a riddim that released a few years agon called 'Feel Good' riddim, which was a take off of the old 'Rock The Boat' by Hues Corporation. Upbeat and a dancehall vibes. Bust it star.
just as a reminder
Various Artists "RetroTeng"
It's hard to go wrong with a good lick of an old riddim. This a great version of the big, bad Sleng Teng riddim. Every artists holds a firm on the riddim and all probably grew up with it too. The exception would be Beenie who was around when it was made just never got to touch it until now and he murders it. The other exception is Burro Banton who I'm sure touched it in his time. A side I have not heard since his early days (which makes sense). The skinny man's tune is 'Go Fi Mi Money.' The other top tracks are the starter Million Stylez's 'Watch & Pray.' Ward 21 bad it up with some bad words on 'Dread & Terrible.' Same with newcomer Lazee on 'My Type Ah Ting.' This riddim will 'Ram Up Session' any time it plays especially when Ranjah touch it.
The Dualers ''Palm Trees & 80 Degrees"
I just found out about this album only 2 months late. As they say better late than never. The UK ska is by far the best. These guys are great, modern ska with that authentic sound. Whole album is great, I slept on it a bit so don't you. Here's the whole album for your listening please.