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If Jah (1998)

Artist: Tony Rebel
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If Jah CD 1 of 1
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Learn more about If Jah:

Format: CD
Sku: 60057976
UPC: 054645150620
UPC 14: 00054645150620
Release Date: 12/16/1997
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Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Jah Is By My Side ~ Tony Rebel
2. Love Fountain ~ Tony Rebel
3. Celebrate Life ~ Tony Rebel
4. Jah Will Never Let Us Down ~ Tony Rebel
5. Africa ~ Tony Rebel
6. Warning ~ Tony Rebel
7. Ready To Go - (featuring Marcia Griffiths) ~ Tony Rebel
8. Know Jah ~ Tony Rebel
9. Mama Land - (featuring Mutabaruka) ~ Tony Rebel
10. Human Blood ~ Tony Rebel
11. Keep Your Joy ~ Tony Rebel
12. Revolution ~ Tony Rebel
13. Who You Are ~ Tony Rebel
14. Bible Chant ~ Tony Rebel
15. Jah Is By My Side - (Acoustic mix) ~ Tony Rebel
16. Think On These Things ~ Tony Rebel

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Personnel: Ruben Alexander (horns).
Muze PNote Recording information: Digital B Studios; Penthouse Recording Studio; Studio B.
Muze PNote Photographer: Louie Davis.
Muze PNote Unknown Contributor Roles: Computer Paul; Donald Dennis; Jah Wayne; George "Dusty" Miller ; The Firehouse Crew; W. Latibeaudiere; Howard Messam; Jazzwad; Leroy Sibbles; Sly Dunbar; Barry O'Hare; Steven "Lenky" Marsden; Paul Henton; Ernie Wilks.
Muze PNote Arranger: Dean Fraser.
Muze PNote For If Jah, veteran conscious singjay Tony Rebel enlists a number of major Jamaican producers -- Philip "Fatis" Burrell, Bobby "Digital" Dixon, and Donovan Germain -- and comes up with a solid, unified disc. It's also pretty typical of this reggae epoch in that Rebel, aside from his early trailblazer role in bringing roots lyrical messages into the dancehall context, is less a true original than an artist adept at creatively recycling proven elements. "Jah Is by My Side" starts off with largely programmed backing (it's reprised later in an acoustic mix), but it's a very effective blend of lyrical and musical hooks. "Love Fountain" is built on Bob Marley's "So Much Trouble in the World" with Rebel's singing on the passionate pleading tip, and "Celebrate Life" introduces a gospel-soul flavor. "Africa" works off Marley's "One Drop" rhythm, just as the menacing "Warning" goes off "Heathen" with fuzzed-out psychedelic lead guitar, dubby arrangement, and nicely harmonized voices with Rebel close to the rough, hoarse Bounty Killer/Capleton mode. "Jah Will Never Let Us Down" gets into that almost '50s R&B dancehall style with DJ delivery, typical Rebel in pairing a strong lyrical message with more fun music to connect with the youth. "Know Jah" uses a very familiar keyboard bass rhythm (probably Studio One vintage) but dubbed out and chopped up, and the same bassline, this time complete, anchors "Bible Chant." There are guest shots from Marcia Griffiths (the buoyant, Zion-bound "Ready to Go") and Mutabaruka (the Ethiopia-themed "Mama Love"), with the latter triggering a string of electronic, programmed arrangements. The most interesting is "Keep Your Joy," with its aura of synth menace and oddball arrangement, but there's no denying If Jah is getting repetitious by the end. So what do you have here? Three pieces built on Marley songs, two mixes of one song, and two more with the same classic riddim foundation, some roots messages and veteran cameos to appeal to reggae old-timers, and some DJ delivery and electronic arrangements for dancehall youth. If Jah has a little bit of something for everybody, but it also makes you wonder a little where Rebel's originality falls among all this familiar synthesis. ~ Don Snowden

Producer: Courtney Cole; Donovan Germain; Richard "Bello" Bell; Bobby "Digital" Dixon; Phillip "Fatis" Burrell; Tony Rebel

Engineer: Colin York; Andre "Deadly" Tyrel; Dean Prendagast; Andrew Thomas; Raymond Ledgister; Stephen Stanley; Bobby "Digital" Dixon; Steven Stanley

Musical Guests
Muze Guest Artist Marcia Griffiths
Muze Guest Artist Mutabaruka

Compilation Appearances

Muze Music Compilations Reggae Gold '97
Muze Music Compilations Chapter A Day
Muze Music Compilations Reggae Gold '94
Muze Music Compilations Music Is The Rod Reggae Anthology
Muze Music Compilations Marcia Friends
Muze Music Compilations Total Reggae:dancehall
Muze Music Compilations Melody Life
Muze Music Compilations Playlist:king Of Kings Reggae Hits

Associated Artists and Works

Cutty Ranks
Ranks, Shabba

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 05/23/2005
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 1998
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : 1506
Music Label Name Label : VP
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00054645150620

Professional Reviews

Vibe (4/98, p.142)
- "...Whether he's sprinkling scripture over a fat digital bass line or flinging the rigorous, rapid-fire vocal melodies that are his stock in trade, Tony Rebel's warm, weathered voice is always a blessing to behold."

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