Already a formidable force on the national reggae scene, Jah Cutta’s third album finds the singer/deejay better than ever.
Easy, bubbling roots rhythms are the order of the day, with Bobby Digital back in the studio chair, but the album takes a few welcome left turns. Notably, “Fight You Down” throws the mould out the window, preferring a stripped down, ethereal dancehall sound, occasionally punctuated by beefy guitar shots — simply perfect. Elsewhere, Cutta provides more of the sort of nu-roots he’s made his name on: catchy celebrations of Rastafari and Ethiopia (“Know the King,” “Tribute”), sultry, R&B-inspired lover’s rock (“Baby,” “Girl”), drum-driven dancehall (“100%”), and social commentary on the violence in society made all the more pertinent by recent events on the streets of Kingston (“Serious Time,” “No Gun”).
But it’s the rollicking “Cry” that stands out as Cutta’s best work yet and one of the strongest reggae tracks of the year. Harkening back to Johnny Osbourne’s Truths and Rights era, “Cry” is propelled by Cutta’s husky, singjay style and will have you singing along long after the record stops.