Just in time for summer, Baltimore's legendary reggae artist Jah Works is excited to release its 10th album entitled “Believe” Emerging out of the East Coast reggae scene over 20 years ago, this is real authentic roots reggae, forged on the road performing hundreds of shows a year in the US and worldwide. The Jah Works sound is firmly planted in the roots of Jamaican music and culture, encompassing rock steady, reggae, and elements of dancehall and dub. What Jah Works does best is introduce the novice music listener to the fullness of reggae music and culture.
The album kicks off with “Water”, a sweet song about the healing power of water and the unity of all living things under God. A strong track with great percussion, vocal hooks and an island vibe that takes the listener straight to Jamaica, the perfect way to set the mood for the album. Next up is a “So Lovely (Right By My Side)”, a Scotty P lovers rock tune which serves as a tribute to the singers influences like Frank Sinatra, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. This tune evokes memories of past lovers and the sweet times together as a couple, and it’s nearly impossible to resist singing along. The mood is flipped on “Show Not Tell”, which is built around the full horn section and incorporates dub influences. Lush horns, floating harmony and eerie melodica all combine to create a bittersweet cautionary tale of love and loss.
Fans of the Jah Works live show will be thrilled to hear the upbeat roots rocking tune “Greener Pastures”, which really captures the energy and upfulness of the band. The hooks and horns of this song transport the listener to a place where gratitude and mindfulness reign supreme.. Flexing through their various styles and influences leads them to the heavy sound of “Too Much Love”, a deep tune about what the world really needs. Songs like this showcase the band's conscious worldview and goal to spread love through their music.
The album is named after one of the strongest tracks, “Believe In Yourself” which stays true to Jah Works' solid foundation of original roots reggae. Showcasing the best of what American Reggae has to offer, this song is a great introduction to the band and their musical message. The band has been performing a few of these new songs regularly in their sets and the driving anthem “Gravity” has already become a big hit with the fans and a solid part of the live show.
On “Wasn't Meant To Be”, the band returns to familiar territory for a modern take on love, and a relationship where “Cupid missed, I guess his aim just wasn’t there”. The laid back, languid roots reggae sets the perfect mood on this sweet reggae ballad, complete with a killer horn solo. The strong songwriting and lyrics continue into “Still Going On”, a reflection of life’s journey and being dedicated to your passion. This reflective moment on the album reveals the r’n’b and soul influences on Scotty’s singing.
After a few mellow tunes, the album comes back strong with “Rumbling Time”, a call to arms that says “Time to get the troops in line.” This is a great track that shows the diversity of the Jah Works sound; melodica, a sick dub breakdown, and rudeboy chants all come together for a powerhouse track. “Ladies and gentlemen I’m here to present….” is the opening line of “Tonite's The Nite,” an upbeat tune that gets the crowd dancing each and every time. Another regular of the live show, “Tonite's The Nite” has the energy and vibes that have come to define Jah Works and serves as the band's anthem.
Not afraid to shine a light on real emotions and consciousness, “Take The Place” is a poignant song dedicated to the memories and legacies of those who have passed on. The album closes out with a dub version of “Still Going On”, and the result is a fitting end to a solid body of work. Jah Works has been deeply influenced by dub reggae and “Still Dubbin On” keeps that tradition going and provides a nice wind down.
Mixed by some of reggae music's top producers, including Jim Fox of Lion & Fox Studios and Laurent “Tippy” Alfred of St. Croix’s I Grade Records. On loan from John Brown’s Body was Jason “Jocko” Randall of More Sound Recording Studio, Nathan Sabananyagam and Will Holland of Chillhouse Studios in Boston and Baltimore's own Steve Wright of Wrightway Studios. Jah Works latest and greatest effort will cement their standing as one of the finest reggae bands to emerge from the United States.