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The Universal Cure by Jah Cure

The Universal Cure by Jah Cure

The Universal Cure by Jah Cure

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If you don't mind power ballads you'll enjoy this.


Jah Cure’s first offering since his release from jail sees him heading further into the late night radio friendly world of MORR (Middle Of the Road Reggae) with which Jamaican music seems enamoured right now. And provided you are willing to accept this as a given and let go of any preconceptions about how roots reggae “should” sound, then, as with Gyptian’s pop-tastic 'I Can Feel Your Pain', there is plenty to enjoy.

Jah Cure - The Universal Cure'The Universal Cure'’s main currency is power ballads. Soon Come swells with a big guitar solo, Freedom features two, whereas heart strings anthem, U Believe In Me, gushes with thanks to Jah and the Cure’s fans for helping him along. As with 'True Reflections' (which turns up here having taken pride of place on VP’s 2007 singles collection of the same name) the song’s ambiguous references to his self-improvement may be interpreted erroneously as an admission to alleged misdeeds.

But there is also diversity, stylistic miscegenation and rootical sentiment to be found. A less subtle take on Asa’s Mr Jailer rocks to a hand clapping acoustic stomp similar to Dallas Austin and Kelis’ Trick Me; Hot Long Time is a hip hop ensemble piece featuring Flo-rida, Mavado and a standout turn from Junior Reid; and My Life showcases the burgeoning trend for smooth violin present on Beres Hammond’s Still Be Heaven. A rendition of the Wailers Burning & Looting is an intriguing melange of slick lovers arrangements and incendiary lyrics; while closing herb tune Green Grass mobilises an attack on cocaine and ecstasy use, to the Mission rhythm’s histrionic military drums, chimes and simulated strings.

Previous album 'True Reflections: A New Beginning', despite contributions from MORR producers such as Arif Cooper and Donovan Bennett, feels far more rootsy by comparison. Yet something about these ornate, shimmering creations commands attention. Cure’s golden, leonine voice pulls him through any trouble spots - earthy yet alien, human yet filled with the wonders of nature. Jah Cure is free and above all, it seems, he wants all the commercial success he can get.

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