With a host of reggae albums under his belt from a career spanning close to 20 years Jah Cure is now at the pinnacle of his career. His latest album The Cure reflects on his life, which has been turbulent to say the least. Having spent 10 years in prison for gun possession, he certainly is not here to just make simply sunshine reggae music. The new album features 13 tracks of deep, thought-provoking roots reggae.
The increase in recent years of “conscious reggae” is a welcome return against the previous outpouring of ragga, gun-touting, homophobic culture which enveloped many of Jamaica’s artists. Jah Cure is at the forefront of this welcome rebirth, and this album could yet be an illustration of the change in attitude and musical direction. This album has been a long time coming, and has been eagerly awaited by many in Jamaica and further afield.
The album starts with two tracks which display his concerns for the current state of play. ‘No Friend of Mine’ and ‘Corruption’ speak of the evils of the world as Jah Cure sees it. Both these tracks confirm his worldly approach as he belts out:
”We not tolerate / We not tolerate / Corruption, greatest enemy known ta man”
‘Life We Live’ takes a slightly lighter note as both the lyrics and the essential accompanying deep bassline drive the track forward. Jah Cure celebrates his current freedom and gives thanks and praise to the “Jah” in the true reggae tradition.
‘All of Me’ perhaps comes as a surprise to many. A cover version of the John Legend universal smash hit would not be the most obvious choice for a discerning reggae audience. Yet it works wonderfully well. Jah Cure has slowed it down to almost a snail’s pace, yet it contains the right reggae rhythms to ensure it is different enough. On the back of this smash hit comes two further singles.
‘Rasta’ is kind of self-explanatory, as Cure celebrates the deeply held belief that Rastafarianism works both religiously and musically. Jah Cure explains that his approach to life is to maintain the teachings embedded in the cultural practises. You can almost imagine him swaying as he sings:
”1-2 Rasta is fast and true / And I will keep it cool”
One of the stand out tracks comes in the shape ‘That Girl’. On the face of it, it’s following a long line of traditional reggae anthems in both its construction and also its lyrical content. Cure is waiting to find the girl, and like thousands of previous Jamaican hits before it, the lyrics plead:
”When I find that girl / It will be the only for me / She will make my life complete”
This is in no way a challenging album to listen too. Yes, it’s deep conscious reggae which aims to highlight the trauma and troubles of the world. Yet, it is light enough to also pull non-reggae heads in. It offers up a sound for the summer as all reggae albums do, yet also keeps the true lover of the genre happy. We hope to hear plenty more from Mr Cure in the future.