The Musical Train
Irie Ites Records
CD / Digital Release
October 29, 2016
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
After having introduced the reggae massive to Jr Yellam (now know as Yellam) - a songwriter and French vocalist of American origin - with the release of the artist's 2013 debut album "Turn Up The Sound", Irie ites Records released Yellam's "Get On Board EP" in 2015 as a foretaste of what to expect from his forthcoming sophomore album. Although the release date was scheduled for March 2016, it lasted until October to finally see that album entitled "The Musical Train" hit the streets.
Ptoduced by Irie Ites and recorded at the legendary Harry J Studio in Kingston, Jamaica with the vast majority of the riddims (no relicked classics!) expertly laid by the mighty Roots Radics band, and final mixes done by London-based mixing engineer Calvin "So So" Francis, "The Musical Train" is a treat for fans of an old skool sound with a modern twist, which more or less has become a trademark of Irie Ites productions. His sophomore album shows that Yellam has grown as an artist since the release of his debut album. The material is mature, pleasant and convincing throughout, which makes it a real joy to listen to this set from beginning to end. Yellam is a versatile modern singer with a great deal of vocal control which makes that he's able to hold his own in colaborations with seasoned artists like Skara Mucci, Sizzla, Perfect Giddimani and the veterans Trinity & U Brown. It shows that he doesn't need to depend on collaborations to get noticed, but it's always nice to have them on an album as it brings in some variation.
When it comes to solo efforts the downright dazzling "Heaven's Door" is arguably the biggest tune from this set. A stunning song which cannot be separated from the tragic death of Style Scott that occured the day after Yellam's return to France. Other tunes that keep things really high are the entertaining opener "Galong", the message tune "Time Has Come" and the beautiful love song "Sweet So". "Fruit Of Life" done in collaboration with Sizzla is the best combination tune, while "Try" with its strong old skool vibe is also a very enjoyable collaboration to listen to. And also "One Love Jamaica", with a piano intro that sounds very familiar to our ears, is a worthwhile track.
Well done and well worth the wait!