Jah Cure â€“ True Reflectionsâ€¦A New Beginning
VP Records (8/7/07)
Let’s say this much for Siccature “Jah Cure” Alcock: his back-story is more interesting than his music. Prosecuted on charges of gun possession, rape and robbery in April 1999, he released three albums while behind bars. He was paroled on July 28, 2007, and dropped this, his fourth album, just three days later.
Cure has a wonderfully rich voice with very good (not quite “great”) range. He’s strongest on tracks where the production is sparse enough to unleash his pipes. “Dem Nuh Build Great Man” is one example and “Most High Cup Full” is another.
Unfortunately, Cure is hampered by run-of-the-mill subject matter (love, peace, lost love and Jamaica).
In fact, there just so happens to be a track called “Jamaica” here. It’s the kind of cookie-cutter fare you’d expect to hear on an airline commercial touting its six non-stop daily flights to Kingston. Similarly, the whiny “Cease All War” seems more than a little disingenuous coming from a convicted violent offender.
There are still enough enjoyable rides to keep reggae fans well-fed, though.
“Conga Man” tones down the drums and keyboards, and, instead, layers the production in a start-stop fashion, striking a fine balance between Cure and the music. The title trackâ€”easily the best song on the albumâ€”opens up with as close to a cappella as you’ll ever hear in reggae, and it’s powerful in its sheer simplicity.
Jah Cure won’t convert any new fans, but this is a solidly built album that represents the genre well enough. Perhaps with the new perspective of a free man, he’ll be able to expand his song topics and spread his wings beyond the safe and predictable.