REVIEW: Junior Kelly – Urban Poet

by Liam Monaghan

Junior Kelly – Urban Poet
Produced by Irievibrations Records
Release date: 10/9/2015

Junior Kelly is among Jamaica’s finest conscious voices. The prolific songwriter is set to release his latest studio album, ‘Urban Poet’ that he hopes will shine a light on Reggae Music and provide reggae fans with much needed salvation, substance and food for thought to uplift them in difficult times.

Urban Poet has been produced by Irievibrations Records. The album consists of 16 tracks mixing Reggae with urban sounds, Junior himself has described the album as more than Just Reggae music. The album has been described as a melting pot of live riddims, exciting musicianship and vocal artistry that will leave you on a musical high. The current single is the first track off the album ‘No Dig It Up’ and to cover a few of the tracks from the album.

No Dig It Up
I love how raw and rustic Juniors voice is, I’ve heard him voice dubs in the past and his older records and his style just appeals to me. No Dig it Up is a very simple song with a guitar and some minimal drumming and Juniors gritty voice telling the youth to aim high and how everybody knows ‘the system isn’t perfect’ an uplifting record.

No More War
On a Reggae vibe with a strong influence of urban R&B/Hip Hop. Big Drums and nice chords set the scene for this record, I love the fast pace delivery in Juniors delivery style he can turn the quick and slow button on promptly, The title says it all really, a peace song wanting no more war.

In Love
Stripped back guitar led riddim with Juniors’ soulful voice ringing out, I really like this song, the style really suits Juniors voice, its an easy listening record and is different from a lot of songs that are coming out at the moment!

Mile In My Shoe
I really like this record, it sounds very 60’s UK rock, reminds me a little of The Beatles with the song, lots of positivity in this record also. What I get from this track is that Junior’s explaining that if you had seen and done the things he has in the past you would understand or ‘Break down’ I like the song however, its uplifting.

Put It Pon You
This song is very husky and low toned, it is structured very simply with not so many instruments, drums, guitar bass and that is all, This track reminds me of retro Ska sounding records with the quick strumming and harmonies, Juniors flexibility with his voice is tested in this record and sounds great, the rawness and grit always keeps the tune fresh, one of my favourite on the album.

Hooked On Mary
Such a contrast in this record to other sounds previously. A Lenny Kravitz style guitar rings through the air ad when the full band kicks in there’s a clear sound of southern blues. The title of the record is quite self-explanatory of what this record is about which probably wont see any national radio play, however the chorus is very catchy and the song is bound to get you moving!

01. No Dig It Up
02. Everybody Needs Somebody
03. Power To The People
04. No More War
05. In Love
06. High Hopes
07. No One Is Higher
08. Stay With Me
09. Mile In My Shoe
10. To Get By
11. Put It Pon You
12. Hooked On Mary
13. Memories
14. False Pretender
15. Sneak Peek