Review: Jemere Morgan – Transition

By Liam Monaghan

Having met Jereme Morgan 2 years ago in Sheffield UK as he was supporting Morgan Heritage, there was an air that he wasn’t just an artist using the name he has to get place. His tracks were well produced and hooks were catchy and I think most of the women in the venue fell in love.

Now in 2017 after lots of touring and supporting, the time has come for us to all hear a new album of music showcasing Jemere’s talents. The album is released on January 6th 2017 and is out on Dada Son Entertainment and was produced by his father Gramps Morgan as well as Chimney Records, Markus Records, Rellee Hayden, Nebilus Records, Notis Records, sounds a lot of input? There are 17 tracks to go through and some collaboration from the likes of Jo Mersa Marley, Agent Sasco, J Boog, Stonebwoy, Toian and Gramps Morgan.

“This album, Transition, represents the current phase in my life, transitioning into becoming a man. I’ve been working on this album for the past three years, handpicking each sound down to the melodies of each record. Music and the artist should be one, and if the beat doesn’t connect to me, I’m on to the next track. So, that’s how I picked the tracks for the album.”

This introduces us to the album and is the title track. Jemere really gets to show off his vocal talents in this track. Smooth and slow or high and quick, the tones seem to be incredibly smooth. The riddim is an upbeat Reggae riddim that has that modern reggae feel and a good use of organs, which give the track a Gospel feel. Positive messages in this track with never give up and tomorrow will be a better day.

Try Jah Love feat. Gramps Morgan
Son and Dad collaboration on this track, Jereme’s smooth tones with Gramps gritty raw voice work really well together. A Jah appreciation track here, lots of mentions of Jah and the world and us all needing Jah in our life. Gramps brings up the topic of children and how they are the future. Riddim is far more relaxed compared to transition however it puts focus on the lyrics rather than making people dance.

Forever Girl
Military style drumming kicks off the track and busses into a upbeat revival riddim and we get another love track from Jemere. Whoever the persona is, is a lucky lady with lots of mentions of queen, forever girl, never apart and stealing hearts. Jemere has such a great voice and definitely a fan of love songs but I hope he changes it up for the next 14 tracks.

Neighborhood Girl feat. Agent Sasco (Remix)
One artist whose voice is instantly recognisable is Agent Sasco. Sasco brings grit and roughness to any track and he brings an edge to this track. This track came out a few years back as an ode to Inner Circles Tenement Yard, it did well globally for Jemere so it was interesting not to put the normal track on and opt for a remix. A nice remix but personally would of just preferred just a verse from Sasco rather than chanting all the way through.

Good Old Roots 
Anyone who knows Reggae Roots & Bass or myself will know im a big fan of huge horn lines and this track blasts off with some big horns that capture everyone’s attention. Its nice to hear a slowed down weighty riddim rather than a love song otherwise we were at the risk of everything sounding the same. Probably my favourite track so far.

Shakers & Movers feat. J Boog
Over in the states J Boog is an artist that’s been blowing up but we haven’t heard much of him here in the UK but you’ll find him performing with the likes of Rebelution, Pepper, Tribal Seeds and Hirie and interestingly that cali sounding Reggae is what this record is constructed of which I did not expect. Really nice and a fun record with catchy hooks and J Boog adds something to this track.

Shouldn’t Have feat. Jo Mersa Marley
Back to the theme of love where Jemere loves his girl, but she winds him up a fair bit by the sounds of it at the start. From what I gather, a fair bit of champagne has been drunk, some not very nice texts were sent and now he’s broken his heart. I can’t work out if this is a sorry song or a sorry but we’re all good song but either way an interesting listen and a nice riddim.

A.C.B feat. Stonebwoy 
I’m not too familiar with the works of Stonebwoy but this is the first modern dancehall sounding riddim we’ve heard so far. The riddim I think will have come from Stonebwoy’s camp to accommodate his afro-dancehall background. It’s not personally something I can get excited about but that’s preference of music. An easy listening song though with a catchy hook.

Shine With Me 
I like the riddim on this track. Its not very roots and foundation Reggae, its got tones of the Americanised Reggae music mixed with R&B I like it as its Jemere in a different light. I really like the African style drumming throughout which keeps the track nice throughout. Mission statement is shine with me and we return to the love aspect of the album. A nice track.

She’s Gone 
Stripped back and slow, Jemere is in his element with this track. Its soft with plenty of harmonies, plenty of room for Jemere to paint a story. Come well away from Reggae here and this is almost like a pop/R&B cross over. Its weird how we’ve got from reggae to roots to rnb to pop but really it just shows Jemere’s versatility. I can see this being a hit with a younger listener.

Celebrate Life feat. Gramps Morgan 
Instant sample of the Bam Bam riddim on this track. This track is all about positivity and looking forward to the next steps in life. Celebrate life to the full is the key message and leave your troubles behind. A nice riddim and we go back to that pop reggae sound. I do like the track, its uplifting.

Bang Bang feat. Toian 
This track sounds like it came off the morgan heritage back to the roots album. Its aggressive with rock guitars, big bass and heavy drumming. It works to an extent however I don’t think it suits Jemere. Toians voice really spices up the album and has a great voice. I know the family of Morgan Heritage love a upbeat dubstep like riddim, when I supported them before boomtown fair in 2016 they rocked it but Jemere should stick down the line of Celebrate.

International Love 
The theme of love runs throughout the album and there seems to be a fair amount of hip hop/American pop music influence in this track. The guitar plucking is nice as it rides the wave and keeps the Reggae vibe. The lyrics are nice in this track and paint a romantic story of a long distance love and the pressures of it, im sure many can relate.
Back to a rootsy sounding riddim and the topic of this track is a popular one of many Reggae artists in the last year more than in the past due to the state of world affairs. Jemere focuses on Africa and slavery and discusses war and discusses opening your eyes and opening your mind to understand what has been going on in the past.

Run Dem Out 
Interesting track but a little.. out there compared to what we’ve heard so far. The riddim sounds familiar to riddims we’ve heard earlier and there is lack of uniqueness. The chorus is catchy and will go around your head for a day or so. What I get from this track is be careful who you make friends with and put trust in.

Anything You Want 
A bubbly riddim and one aimed at the ladies. The riddim has a distinguishing drum sound banging away with what sounds like a xylophone tinging away in the background. It’s a nice riddim and a change compared to tracks we’ve heard on this album already. The hook is nice and the track is catchy and it’s a nice safe song.

Take Me Go Home 
Final track on the album and it’s a nice way to finish the album. Lots of harmonies with nice melodies and catchy hooks. Jemere gets a chance to give one final example of his soothing voice painting stories of real love. It’s all about forgetting the past and moving on to better things. “forget the past and forward into the future” a final ode to love from Jemere.

A great listen! Really enjoyed going through and listening to the album a few times. I don’t know if 17 tracks is too much for an album but its great to see Jemere show his versatility as an artist. Having seen him live myself he’s a great performer and the Morgan Heritage family should be very proud.

The album will be released today, january 6, 2016