Review: Morgan Heritage – Here Come The Kings

Review: Morgan Heritage – Here Come The Kings

Morgan Heritage – Here Come The Kings
Track Listing:
1.) Man Has Forgotten
2.) Here Come The Kings
3.) Holla
4.) Call To Me
5.) Perfect Love Song
6.) The Return
7.) Looking For The Roots
8.) Love Stoned (featuring Shaggy)
9.) The Girl Is Mine
10.) Dem Ah Run Come
11.) Ends Nah Meet
12.) Stand Up

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Record Label: VP Records
Website: Morgan Heritage Website

Group Background:
Morgan Heritage is truly a family affair. Known as the “Royal Family of Reggae,” the quintet is comprised of Peetah Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy “Gramps” Morgan, Nakhamyah “Lukes” Morgan and Memmalatel “Mr. Mojo” Morgan. Beginning in their teens, the Morgan Family has been making music for twenty years and has released nine studio albums. It’s been five years since Morgan Heritage’s last release—2008’s “Mission in Progress.” During the hiatus, the members weren’t idle, as they explored solo projects; and following 2012’s appropriately named five-track EP “The Return” fans awaited a full-length album. After nearly a year, reggae’s quintessential family band is back with their tenth studio album, “Here Comes The Kings.”

Album Review:
“Here Comes The Kings” is catchy, fun and full of life. The album features nine brand new tracks, and three from 2012’s The Return, EP including “Love Stoned,” “Stand Up” and “The Girl Is Mine.” The album will not surprise anyone and showcases many things fans expect from Morgan Heritage, including solid song writing and catchy melodies. “Here Comes The Kings” features a mix of roots, R&B, dancehall and a dash of pop, along with contributions from the unmistakable Shaggy.

The album starts off with “Man Has Forgotten,” a dancehall infused plea to those souls lost in the insignificant aspects of life, like power and parties, to seek balance by returning to Jah. This theme also runs throughout the track “Looking For The Roots.” The title track is one of the albums strongest. “Here Comes The Kings” asks, “are you ready for it…roots?” and delivers an uplifting message meant to empower folks to take control of their lives. The tracks “Stand Up” and “The Return” highlight where the Jamaican culture comes up short, and compels the return to roots, culture and unity.

“Here Comes The Kings” also pays tribute to two of the true kings of music—namely the late Michael Jackson and Beatles’ legend Paul McCartney—by covering the duo’s 1982 hit, “The Girl is Mine.” Morgan Heritage stays relatively true to the songs original melody, and adds a mix of reggae sounds to spice up the arrangement. With so many Jackson songs to choose from, it is curious why Morgan Heritage chose “The Girl is Mine”—especially given that Mojo Morgan had already contributed to a more inspiring cover of the song on Easy Star All-Stars “Thrillah” album.

For those itching for a love song or two, “Here Comes The Kings” offers a couple strong tracks, including “Perfect Love Song” and “Love Stoned.” Given the latter song’s title, it shouldn’t be a surprise that “Love Stoned” is about a person so in-love that they are high as a kite from the feeling. The song also features the album’s only collaboration, with Shaggy lending his talents to the track. Whether intended or not, Shaggy dominates the song with his trademark vocals and leaves the listener hoping for more Shaggy and less Morgan.

Morgan Heritage’s latest effort is fun, easy-to-listen-to, provides socially conscious messages and challenges listeners to be true to one’s self. The album’s title along with the five year layoff, created high expectations for “Here Comes The Kings” and the band—maybe too high to meet. The album is strong in key areas, like song writing and arrangements, but is also a head-scratcher with the inclusion of three previously recorded songs and a less than inspiring cover.

Written & Reviewed By: Kit Chalberg

[Editor’s Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]