SOJA

Strength to Survive

2012-03-19

Nick's Picks: 02 Strength to Survive; 06 It's Not Too Late; 12 When We Were Younger

FCC ALERT: 03 Everything Changes

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of SOJA Strength To Survive :

Bob Marley was a great musician, and a great songwriter. Every time I hear his music I am reminded of the times I have been to the Caribbean Islands (well, I remember most times – rum has made some times somewhat fuzzy). The beat of the music seems to create a harmonic resonance within my primitive brain. This group, Soldiers Of Jah Army, take this primitive beat and modernize it, adding some synth, brass, and orchestral strings to make some very listenable and rhythmic music. Like the legendary Bob Marley, it seems to me (IMHO) that the message is much more important than the message. Although I was hoping for some political themes or (barring that) Rastafarian themes. The closest I could find to either was “Everything Changes”. This cd is full of personal expression and memorable, individualist touches of the songwriter without betraying the rhythm and beat of the reggae sound. As I am sitting here lazily listening to the soft, sweet and plaintive beat of “Tell Me”, I almost get knocked off my seat by the deep drum rhythm of “It's Not Too Late”. Although this is very much an “island sound” cd, each and every cut on this cd is listenable, and if, by the end of the cd you are not up and dancing, then you must have fallen out of your hammock reaching for your poofy little drink with the umbrella. And that's my two nickels' worth........................Nick

The Musicians:

・ Jacob Hemphill – songwriter, vocals, guitar

・ Ryan Berty – drums

・ Patrick O'Shea – keyboards

・ Bobby Lee Jefferson – bass

・ Kenneth Brownell – percussion

・ Rafael Rodriguez – trumpet

・ Hellman Escorcio – saxophone

The Songs:

Disk I:

1. Mentality (Hemphill)

2. Strength To Survive (Hemphill)

3. Everything Changes (Hemphill)

4. Don't Worry (Hemphill)

5. Tell Me (Hemphill)

6. It's Not Too Late (Hemphill)

7. Gone Today (Hemphill)

8. Let You Go (Hemphill)

9. Not Done Yet (Hemphill)

10. Slow Down (Hemphill)

11. Be With Me Now (Hemphill)

12. When We Were Younger (Hemphill)

13. Gone Today (Hemphill)

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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