Review: Morgan Heritage – Strictly Roots

Review: Morgan Heritage – Strictly Roots

Morgan Heritage – Strictly Roots
Morgan HeritageTrack Listing:
1.) Strictly Roots
2.) Child of Jah (ft Chronixx)
3.) Light It Up (ft Jo Mersa Marley)
4.) Rise And Fall
5.) Perform And Done
6.) So Amazing (ft Gil Sharone, J Boog, Jemere Morgan)
7.) Wanna Be Loved (ft Eric Rachmany of Rebelution)
8.) Why Dem Come Around
9.) We Are Warriors (ft Bobby Lee of SOJA)
10.) Put It On Me
11.) Sunday Morning
12.) Celebrate Life
13.) Keep On Jammin’ (ft. Shaggy) [iTunes Bonus]

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: April 20, 2015
Record Label: CTBC Music Group
Official Website: Morgan Heritage Website

Artist Background:
The legacy of reggae vocalist Denroy Morgan has been passed on to his sons, who have performed as Morgan Heritage since 1991. While its mellow, R&B-influenced vocals and Rastafarian lyrics have been compared to Garnett Silk, the group has continued to pave its own musical path. The band’s many hits include “Let’s Make Up,” “Tell Me How Come,” “Set Yourself Free,” “Mama and Papa,” and “Protect Us Jah.” Initially an octet featuring eight of Morgan’s 29 children, Morgan Heritage began recording in the early ’90s – From ALL MUSIC.

Album Review:
Morgan Heritage, the “Royal family of Reggae” has been a staple in the Reggae Scene for quite some time, known for their soulful and powerful vocals and roots approach. In Strictly Roots, they have released one of their best albums in years, and true to the name, have weaved their roots vibes with more modern sounds in this excellent album. I have to say that this album hits harder than what I am used to from Morgan Heritage, and it’s a great best foot forward first release for their own independent label CTBC Music Group.

The title track, “Strictly Roots” kicks this album off mightily rolling with heavy bass and screaming vocals. “Child of JAH” features Chronixx, who in my opinion is one of most exciting artists on the scene today with his style being branded as “Reggae Revival” or “Roots Revival”. This Rastafarian themed tune is one of the standouts on the album.

“Light It Up” takes this album in a totally different direction drawing influences from dubstep and dancehall to lay the foundation for this collaboration with Ghetto Youth Crew’s Jo Mersa Marley. Although dubstep itself is quite dated and somewhat over, it is a welcome departure and shows Morgan Heritage’s diversity of range. Quickly returning to the roots, “Rise and Fall” talks about the ups and downs of life and speaks to tenacity when living the cycle of life.

“So Amazing”, “Sunday Morning” and “We Are Warriors” are very significant songs, not only on the record, but in the history of reggae. These songs are a complete nod to American reggae and almost a welcoming of this style into the Reggae family. “So Amazing” sounds like a track that could be at home on LBDA’s sophomore release and “We Are Warriors” features the growl of SOJA’s Bobby Lee. There are plenty of points in this album where you can see the intention is clear to appeal to a wide audience. Not only can this be heard in the vocals, but the rhythms, tones and melodies.

Morgan Heritage has always been known for their singing and I would be remiss if I did not mention just how powerful these singers are. Their range as a group is astonishing, and they harmonize just like you would think a family of musicians with decades behind them would. The passion and dedication to music can be heard on every song, and even when introducing new sounds into their music, it never seems forced or contrived. The album ranges from roots to dubstep, hitting dancehall and ska on the way and has plenty of depth to keep this bumping for some time. As a lot of modern reggae releases these days, this album drifts from harder hitting tunes to soft R&B inspired lovers rock, with my preference being for the former.

Written & Reviewed By: Tommy Dubs

[Editors 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]

Watch: Morgan Heritage – “Perform And Done”