After having put his name on the reggae map with his biggest hit to date, the 2001 released cute song “If Love So Nice”, Junior Kelly regularly delivered impressive “roots ‘n’ culture” tunes in a style adapted from the two most eminent singjays Capleton and Sizzla, though it was obvious that he has always tempered this with his own lyrical ability, tone of voice and timing. Once again this can be witnessed on “Creation”, his latest album from Penitentiary Records. This new cd contains fifteen uplifting and thought provoking tracks, all delivered in Junior Kelly’s own unique style. The material featured on this set consists of some previously released singles as well as brand new tunes, produced and recorded in Jamaica by people like Jimmy Riley, Norman “Bulpuss” Bryan, Richard Ellis, Owen Renalls, Milton Moore, Andrew Livingston, Christopher Miller, Junior Wildman and Michael Swaby. Junior Kelly performs over a selection of riddims that includes traditional rub-a-dub, roots and contemporary dancehall. Among them one finds refurnished riddims such as Dennis Brown’s “To The Foundation” (“Search”), Roy Cousins & The Royals’ “Pick Up The Pieces” (“Don’t Complain”), the Studio One classic “Full Up” (“My Enemies”) and Lloyd Robinson’s “Cuss Cuss” (“Exile”). No matter what riddim he has the handle, Junior Kelly does it skilful and with ease. Even though his dancehall tunes “Evil Do’ers” and Cry Fi U Baby” are decent efforts – with furthermore “Burn It” being a dissapointing cut – it’s with tracks such as the outstanding “Exile”, the truly great “Dem No Remember”, the wicked “Black People” (aka “African Bound”), “Search” and the awesome “From Creation” that Kelly impresses most. That he can sing as well (and he does it pretty good) can be heard on the wonderful “My Love”.
Anyway, this master of an artist has come up with a solid album to claim his rightful place in the forefront of today’s reggae music.