If Jah CD (1997)

Artist: Tony Rebel

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Product Overview


Label Vp
SKU 60057976
UPC 054645150620
UPC 14 00054645150620
Format CD
Release Date 12/16/1997
Author Tony Rebel
Associated Artist/Work Capleton
Associated Artist/Work Cutty Ranks
Associated Artist/Work Ranks, Shabba
Technical Info
Engineer Colin York; Andre "Deadly" Tyrel; Dean Prendagast; Andrew Thomas; Raymond Ledgister; Stephen Stanley; Bobby "Digital" Dixon; Steven Stanley
Producer Courtney Cole; Donovan Germain; Richard "Bello" Bell; Bobby "Digital" Dixon; Phillip "Fatis" Burrell; Tony Rebel
CatalogID 1506
Lable Name VP Records
Released 05/23/2005
Original Release 1998
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 62m : 37s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00054645150620
Musical Guests
Marcia Griffiths
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Ruben Alexander (horns).
Recording information: Digital B Studios; Penthouse Recording Studio; Studio B.
Photographer: Louie Davis.
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.
Arranger: Dean Fraser.
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
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."
Disc 1
1 Jah Is By My Side
2 Love Fountain
3 Celebrate Life
4 Jah Will Never Let Us Down
5 Africa
6 Warning
7 Ready To Go - (featuring Marcia Griffiths)
8 Know Jah
9 Mama Land - (featuring Mutabaruka)
10 Human Blood
11 Keep Your Joy
12 Revolution
13 Who You Are
14 Bible Chant
15 Jah Is By My Side - (Acoustic mix)
16 Think On These Things

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