Review: SkillinJah – Skillmatic

Review: SkillinJah – Skillmatic

SkillinJah – Skillmatic

Track Listing:
1.) The 45
2.) Boom Boom Ti Boom Beng (Orginal Diss)
3.) Live Up [feat. Lance Sitton]
4.) Don’t Have to Worry [feat. Josh Heinrichs]
5.) Officer Morgan (Interlude)
6.) Babylon Officer
7.) Fever [feat. Josh Heinrichs]
8.) Step On Dem Head [feat. Lance Sitton]
9.) Weed Jump
10.) Don’t Stall
11.) Call of Duty (Acoustic) [feat. Josh Heinrichs]
12.) Nice Up the Lawn [feat. Lance Sitton]
13.) Cool Your Tempa [feat. Lance Sitton]
14.) The 45 (Countrymatic) [feat. Bill Bruce]

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: December 5th, 2012
Record Label: GanJah Records
Website: SkillinJah Website

Group Background:
Midwest reggae music has reached new heights, and one of the main products to emerge from the Springfield, Missouri area is SkillinJah. The former Jah Roots band member has been releasing music for over 15 years. With over 200 singles attached to his name, recently, SkillinJah has been gaining momentum following his successful solo albums Reality, and Emergency Spliff before that. With that momentum, the Skillmatic release could top both albums in terms of success.

Album Review:
Following SkillinJah’s album releases of Reality and Emergency Spliff, the excitement began to boil for the music coming from Springfield, Missouri. The smooth vocal cadence from SkillinJah is certainly catchy. With an album title such as Skillmatic, I fully expected to hear the best possible delivery of SkillinJah’s lyrics on this particular album. As the first track, “The 45” commences, gentle reggae upstrokes and fading sounds of crash cymbals usher in the album’s namesake to begin his rhymes. However, as the first line of his album brings up the topic of “rolling up a spliff bigger than a chimichanga”, I was left to wonder how serious the remaining 13-tracks on the album were going to be.

When the lyrics left something to be desired, the musical backing carried the songs through, track after track. One aspect of this album that sets itself apart from others is the mixing and matching of songs with a plugged-in backing band, and songs that feature just an acoustic guitar and SkillinJah’s voice. The album did seem more natural for SkillinJah’s style on the softer acoustic tracks, rather than the upbeat, quicker tempo of the electric songs.

On Skillmatic, there are countless styles and variation changes from one track to another. This is album shows the vocal range of SkillinJah on multiple platforms, but as a listener you never have a constant flow throughout the album. In some cases the full band’s sound blankets SkillinJah’s lyrics. Granted, the rhythm is the driving force in reggae music; the lyrics still touch the soul of listeners and concertgoers around the world. This particular album, as an entire body of work, didn’t fulfill that objective.

There were certain songs that grab your attention, remaining hopeful to progress through to the next track, such as “Boom Boom Ti Boom Beng”, which features a funky Motown bass groove, and another, “Nice Up the Lawn”, highlighting the finer side of true roots music, along with Lance Sitton lending backing vocals. Although, some of the more enjoyable tracks were the raw, acoustic songs featuring GanJah Records owner, Josh Heinrichs. Each track that the duo played together sounded like a natural, organic jam session between two top quality artists.

Skillmatic is not nearly a groundbreaking album that will leave you pressing repeat, over and over for months or years. However, this album is nice addition to the SkillinJah collection for his rabid fan base.

Written & Reviewed By: Kris Siuta

[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]