Life Of A King
Lutan Fyah
Grillaras Productions
CD / Digital Release
October 14, 2013

Track list
  1. Penance
  2. Defend The Throne
  3. See To It
  4. Cyaaan Do We Nothing feat. Chronixx
  5. Life Of A King
  6. Protect The Youth feat. Mr. Lexx
  7. Justice
  8. Where Is Poppa
  9. Royal Empress
  10. Economical Crisis
  11. Leave The Herb
  12. Let's Come Together
  13. Liberation feat. OJ
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Since the release of his first full length album, the Brotherman produced "Dem No Know Demself" (2004), Lutan Fyah has been an interesting artist to follow. Preceded by artists like Sizzla, Anthony B and Capleton, Lutan Fyah was part of a younger generation that made a powerful contribution to the modern roots reggae movement of the new millennium. After the release of his debut album, he continued to deliver very good material on roots riddims from a variety of producers and got rave reviews for albums like "Time And Place" (2005), "Phantom War" (2006), and the dbl disc "Africa" (2008). This, and the fact that he hardly ever delivered truly disappointing efforts, firmly put him in the forefront of today's reggae scene.

"Life Of A King" is the follow up to the earlier this year (digital-only) released "Never Surrender My Faith", which contains older material recorded for UK producer Jah Warrior, and last year's "Truly" from Northern California based One Drop Records. This brand new 13 track album sees Lutan Fyah collaborate with Grillaras Productions from Jamaica, which is headed by his longtime friend Khabir 'Kabs' Bonner. The latter already worked with Lutan Fyah in 2004, when he produced his song "Rasta Better Off" on the "Good Times" riddim, in 2006 followed by "Good Health" on the "Da Real Time" and in 2011 by "My Lady" on "The Fulfillment".

For some reason this much anticipated album reminds us of the "Rise To The Occasion" and "Soul Deep" albums Sizzla has done with producer Donovan 'Don Corleon' Bennett. For "Life Is A King", producer Khabir 'Kabs' Bonner has fused conscious reggae tracks with elements of other genres including Hip Hop, R&B and Jazz, something Donovan Bennett also did with the aforementioned Sizzla albums, which worked for some of his loyal fans, but was disapproved by many others. Most likely this won't happen with this Lutan Fyah album, because the relevant songs extend the reggae idiom in other directions without morphing it into an unnatural hybrid. In other words, the true spirit of reggae music is preserved throughout. The solid "Defend The Throne", the real nice ganja song "Leave The Herb" and especially the great "See To It" with its superb riddim won't disappoint the reggae purist at all. But also efforts such as the title track "Life Of A King", the awesome "Justice" and "Economical Crisis" might appeal to him. Remain the collaborations with guest vocalists Chronixx, Mr. Lexx and OJ, of which the sublime "Cyaaan Do We Nothing" with Chronixx stands out.

Although "Life Of A King" is an album worth hearing, it doesn't convince all the way and thus it can't be ranked among his very best.