Mykal Rose – I Give You Love
01. Grandson Reasoning (Dialogue)
02. This World
03. World Crisis
04. Don’t Fall
05. When Dem Ago Let We Go feat. Jahmiel
06. War Is Not The Answer
07. Babylon Burning
08. Freedom Way
09. No Love (Dialogue)
10. I Give You Love You Show Me Hate feat. Bugle
12. Grammy Kid (Dialogue)
13. Steppin Like A Murderer feat. Bounty Killer
Grammy Award-winning reggae singer Mykal Rose and Adrian Hanson of Donsome Records first joined forces on the 2021 Freedom Sound Riddim project. The producer, who was praised by the esteemed veteran in an interview with The Gleaner, paired Rose with contemporary artist Bugle which resulted in the collaborative track I Give You Love. Two years later, after the song’s recording and release, the duo completed a full-length album, which they named after the initial song they worked on.
Prior to the release of I Give You Love, Mykal Rose shared that the songs showcased on the album were crafted from his personal encounters. The album delves into various themes such as the hardships face in contemporary society, the exorbitant expenses of living, social injustice, senseless acts of violence, and matters of the heart.
Michael Rose, born in the poverty-stricken Waterhouse area of Western Kingston, discovered his passion for music through his brothers’ singing around the house. Blessed with a powerful voice, he joined a band, performed at local talent shows, and entertained tourists in Jamaican hotels along the north coast. Upon returning to Kingston in 1975, Niney the Observer recognized Michael Rose’s potential and produced his initial recordings, which included songs like Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and Clap The Barber. However, his true success came when he became the lead singer and driving creative force behind the Grammy-winning group Black Uhuru, establishing them as a prominent second generation reggae vocal group. Michael Rose, along with Sly & Robbie, Puma Jones, and Duckie Simpson, achieved global success with songs like Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Sinsemilla, Sponji Reggae, Shine Eye Girl, and many others. However, in 1985, Rose parted ways with Black Uhuru due to a falling out with Simpson. He decided to retreat to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains and ventured into coffee farming before making a comeback as a solo artist. In 1991, he altered the spelling of his name to Mykal Rose, stating that it aligned more with the Ethiopian version of his name.
Mykal Rose has released approximately 25 solo albums since his pop-influenced album Proud came out in 1990. However, the quality of his albums has been inconsistent, with some being more successful than others. With his latest album, I Give You Love, Mykal Rose, along with producer Adrian Hanson, delivers a collection of tunes that showcase Rose’s powerful vocals and lyrical skills. The album does justice to Rose’s talent and will please both his fanbase and reggae enthusiasts. Hanson’s production is commendable, and musicians like Roel Powell and St Clair Connor contribute a variety of riddims that, in some of the album tracks, seem to be influenced by Sly & Robbie classics.
Three of the thirteen tracks on the new album are collaborations. Besides the aforementioned Bugle on I Give You Love, it features Jahmiel and Bounty Killer on When Dem Ago Let We Go and Steppin Like A Murderer respectively. All of these collaboration songs have their own unique qualities and make a good impression. In particular, the previous single I Give You Love, which obviously addresses his falling out with Duckie Simpson, is catchy and memorable. Completely different vibes are offered by When Dem Ago Let We Go, which comes as a pleasant surprise, and the solid Steppin Like A Murderer. The intro Grandson Reasoning (Dialogue), is followed by This World which starts off the solo offerings in a convincing way. The next two selections on the album, the social commentary World Crisis and the powerful uplifting tune Don’t Fall, are slow-paced tracks that may take some time to fully appreciate. The peak of the solo songs lies in the middle of the album with War Is Not The Answer, Babylon Burning, and Freedom Way maintaining a strong and energetic vibe. Brutal is the seventh and last solo piece that graces the eardrums of the listener. It’s a wicked tune that brings back memories of golden days.