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Revelation, Pt. 1: The Root of Life

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Album Review

As his brothers venture into unexplored territory such as children’s music (Ziggy) and hip-hop (Damian), Stephen Marley acts as anchor for the clan on Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life. While Part 2 is planned as a more electric and future-minded affair, this first Revelation is a roots reggae-oriented effort, or at least “roots” in the Wailers (post-Tosh and post-Bunny) sense of the word. Think Father Bob’s Uprising and you’re close to the feel here, which goes from cool and woozy ( “No Cigarette Smoking (In My Room)” being a great re-creation of the “Pimper's Paradise" sway) to stately and militant (brother Damian and Buju Banton help make “Jah Army” the heir apparent to “Babylon System"), Stephen certainly has his own voice as well, with the wistful heartbreak of “She Knows Now” and the blues-flavored “Can’t Keep I Down” being unique entries in the whole Marley clan catalog, plus his songwriting has grown with subtle imagery and rich storytelling playing a bigger role than before. These are the reasons to return to the album, but familiarity is an equally strong point, and also its initial pull. Stone-cold grooves and socially conscious lyrics run rich in the Marley bloodline, and while Revelation might be a less-than-fitting title, fans of the Marley family can simply write “satisfying” or “a welcome reminder” on the spine if they choose.

Customer Reviews

The Spirit of his Father

With this album, Stephen Marley again reminds us how close he is to his father, in voice, in lyrics, in creativity and in overall vibe; and at the same time, his experience in the production booth comes through, making this simply a beautiful album in all respects --crisp, clear sound, tight compositions, soulful lyrics -- without a single dud. This album will surely become a classic -- less "trendy" and mainstream than Mind Control (thankfully), clearly a successful reach into the roots of reggae with a modern twist, yet not repetitive, boring or pop-y as many artists can get once they've made a big-selling album. Stephen truly keeps to his origins, and brings us to a modern, uncheesy rendition of what modern reggae can be. Capelton's raspy voice proves a soulful contribution to "Break Us Apart", while the harmonica in "Can't Keep I Down" adds authenticity and catchiness. “No Cigarette Smoking” and “Pale Moonlight” are both sweet tributes to lover's rock stylings. “She Knows Now,” a sweet and honest song about empty words, and “Freedom Time” both sound like something his father could've written in his later years, and in fact the latter seems to borrow vibes from the Master’s Crazy Baldheads, while “The Chapel” with Ziggy brings us straight back to their father’s style. “Jah Army” seems like a reflection into some of the Jamaican core and early days of Jamaican reggae radio, while “Old Slaves” is carried with a delicate flute woven into powerful lyrics, strong drums and Stephen’s melancholy wail, all coming together to remind us of the connections of past to present. The sweet melody of “Tight Ship” with Junior Gong’s strong vocal rhythms makes the perfect combination, while “Working Ways” with Spragga Benz, at first listen seemingly an odd interjection, grows on you. The simplicity of guitar, piano and voice in “Now I Know” feels like a reflection of the consequences of “She Knows Now” and reminds us that nothing in life is permanent except for change, making this end seem like it may be just a pause.

pretty good*** Make that Great!***

This is no Mind Control but there are some good tracks

***Update*** - I wasn't listening very good at first but now listening much clearer. This is a GREAT album! It's not supposed to be Mind Control. This is the Revelation! BUY IT!

Awesome

Carrying on the Marley name... All the kids got talent, but Stephen is definitely my favorite! Great album!

Biography

Born: April 20, 1972

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Bob Marley's second son, Stephen Marley, first appeared on record in 1979, when he was only six years old. With his brother Ziggy, the young Stephen recorded the single "Children Playing in the Streets," a charity single with the profits going to the United Nations to aid its efforts during the International Year of the Child. The single would also mark the beginnings of the Ziggy-fronted Melody Makers, a band that included Stephen's...
Full Bio
Revelation, Pt. 1: The Root of Life, Stephen Marley
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Reggae, Music, Rock
  • Released: May 23, 2011

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