NEVER GIVE UP
* * * *2003 - Nocturne - studio - discs: 1
Jah Mason is one of the hundreds deejay singers that emerged during the 90's. But his dstinctive style and approach to the contemporary Jamaican music makes him a first class artist both when delivering tough Dancehall tunes or spiritual Conscious Reggae. This strong (literally too) voice from the Manchester Parish made his debut in 1991 with the single "Selassie I Call We". This first cut for Junior Reid label was credited to Perry Mason. In the meantime his Rastafarian spirituality grow up. In 1995 he became a Bobo Shanti He recorded some singles and in 2002 he released two albums: "Keep Your Joy" and "Unlimited". This set presents a highly confident artist that speads the message of Rastafari over very musically articulated tracks that shine thanks to Mason unique lyrical atmospheres. I took some time to get Mason powerful message, but once there I discovered a powerful Rastafarian and spiritual set. Here at the end there is some real freshness that today is too frequently missing from the contemporary artists.
* * * /2004 - studio - discs: 1
The "Most Royal" set is a little bit inferior than its predecessor. Basecally this set is more Dancehall oriented and since I am not quite involved in this genre I needed a lot of listenings before I was able to appreciate it. What must be said is that even if that is the main mood, Mason is able to touch you in a positive way. In any case even if Dancehall claims the stronger presence here, the material is far more articulated and structured than many of Mason's contemporaries. The set opens with the title track "Most Royal", a strong Conscious Roots song with an atmosphere that almost touches Dancehall. "Love How The Youth Them Live" is a very tough tune which is too much Dancehall oriented for me but the message is strong as in all Mason's lyrics. "Rainbow Circle Throne" is again quite Dancehall as with the following "Can You Feel The Pain". The first gem comes with "Don't Cry" as a Rootish song. A better quality and feeling is delivered through "No Joke" as a more meditative tune inside this quite aggressive (not in the lyrics) set. "Words Of Wisdom" is probably the less impressive track. The following "Rumors Of War" stands as a declaration and call for less violence, but again its sound is too much hard for me. "So Long" runs on a texture of fast drumming. "I'm So Sure" is the third good tune here. It sounds slow, considering that in this set talking about slowness is like being off tempo. This track is not paricularly interesting. "Signs Of The Time" stands on the same level. "They Say They Love Us" is another tune that keeps to tone down, and the only thing that works are the lyrics. "Request" again is a repetition of the last two songs. "Saga" closes the set without adding anything special. This fifteen set had to be eight - ten tracks long. It would had been much more strong and interesting.