Jah9 Takes Overstanding to the Next Level
Reggae has always been a vehicle and voice to express injustice and raise consciousness. This is something that is again gaining traction with the new crop of roots reggae revival artists of which Jah9 is a leading exponent.
Reggae now has many sub-genres which have evolved over the past couple of decades. Dancehall for one, like many other dance-based genres, has become hugely successful and continues to attract talent eager for success. However, 'Roots Reggae' never went away, it was just outpaced commercially by other genres that seemed more lucrative and popular. Has a lesson been lost? The leading and most successful reggae artist, I need not even mention his name, was a roots reggae exponent.
Related post: Roots Reggae Revival: Consciousness Awareness and Overstanding
The deep, meaningful and spiritual voice that was originally the soul of reggae has now been taken to a new level by Jah9 and is generating a whole new set of followers who connect with her message as Jah9 offers an immersive musical experience for the mind, body and soul. This new album brings together all her skills.
Introduction to SelfThere is an accompanying video documentary to the album. According to Jah9's website, this documentary is an intimate telling of the making process of Jah9’s Note To Self Album. The 13-minute documentary short, directed by Fernando F. Hevia & Samo Kush, combines the album's core themes into a series of visual tales that connect at the root of self-awareness.
The video is a great introduction to the album and to Jah9 the artist. One thing that you can't say about Jah9 is that she lacks conviction. This one trait in itself attracts fans from all over the world and along with her willingness to explain and take fans on her journey and /or allow fans to start their own journey, undoubtedly, guarantees Jah9 long term success.
Note To Self
..... I'm going to be Okay ....
The album consists of 15 tracks (full tracklist below) and encompasses aspects of Jah9 the singer, the songwriter, the yogi, the non-conformist and visionary. This is an album you can absorb at different levels.
The album starts off with the previously released 'Heaven' which is a great choice to get the listener in the right frame of mind and ...Ready Fi Di Feeling...
Related post: Music Review Jah9 Heaven
There is a lot of introspection on the album that you would expect from Jah9. Ma'at (Each Man) the second single released from the album, I believe, is a song of our time. On a classic dub backdrop, Jah9 explains that each of us stands alone and we must bring a sacrifice or offering. A relevant topic in the current world crisis where we all have time to re-evaluate what we think is important.
There is also collaboration on 'Note to Self', the title track, with Chronixx and 'New Race' with Akala, that brings some fresh perspective, but the message is still on point. Note to Self, especially, is another message of introspection. Over a sold snare and kick drum and a growling baseline, Jah9 creates a meditative mantra for the conscious mind. Outside influences can negatively impact our well-being but 'I'm going to be okay'.
.... words may not say exactly how I'm feeling ....Jah9's soothing vocals add an almost hypnotic effect that melts the stress away. These are tracks with intent that work musically and also on a much deeper level.
The tracks Mindstorm, The Reflection and In the Beginning are short and deliberate with Jah9 imparting knowledge and overstanding to the listener over soothing melodies. Jah9 introduces concepts while the shortness of the track challenges the listener to focus and evaluate the message heard (this is where 'repeat' comes in handy).
.. tings weh mek you body feel good ..
.. dem deh ting me like dem ..
The tracks I have reviewed give a flavour of the album and there are plenty more to indulge and immerse yourself. This is an album where you get value for money it is an album for the mind, body and soul. Fans of Jah9 will love this album and if you are new to Jah9 you will find something beneficial to the self. Find a quiet space to listen, relax and take it all in.
Note To Self Tracklist1. Heaven (Ready Fi Di Feeling) 3:38
2. Ma'at (Each Man) 3:33
3. Mindstorm 0:33
4. Note To Self (Okay) 4:05
5. Field Trip 4:49
6. New Race (A Way) 5:12
7. Hey You 4:51
8. Highly (Get To Me) 3:43
9. Feel Good "The Pinch" 3:08
10. Love Has Found I 4:34
11. You And I 3:41
12. Ready To Play 5:41
13. The Reflection 1:00
14. Could It Be 4:36
15. In The Begining 1:07