Love So Nice

Love so Nice - 2001

Junior Kelly is one of the new breed of reggae singer/DJs who meld conscious reggae lyrical concerns with contemporary musical dancehall developments. Love So Nice is a solid, varied disc marked by a strong sense of song craftsmanship that touches most bases of reggae’s broad musical spectrum without losing focus or interest. Kelly is equally adept at delivering a rapid-fire DJ rap over punchy ragga on “Jewel of the Nile” or singing straight songs like a title track built on Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up.” And he’s equally at home blending roots music with dancehall patois lyrics (“Boom Draw”), taking the operatic keyboard route (“Hotta Fi Get”), or going fully acoustic (“Standing Firm”). But that versatility doesn’t stop with the wide-ranging material; he’s got two distinct vocal deliveries, smooth and sensual or rough and gruff, and alternates them on every other line of “Sunshine.” Love So Nice is an excellent slice of modern reggae that maintains the conscious stance of roots reggae without turning its back on the musical developments in contemporary reggae.