Morgan Heritage aren’t newcomers to the reggae scene, recently releasing their tenth album, Strictly Roots. I’m a beginner when it comes to reggae music, but Morgan Heritage has found a way to bring in new fans while keeping their old ones. Their easygoing sound combines a mixture of pop elements and traditional reggae style to put a modern twist on the genre.
The title track “Strictly Roots” is the perfect opener for new fans of the genre It’s straightforward in introducing the rest of the album, with its easy beat and layered vocals. “Light It Up” is a listening experience to remind that you that their music is not about the bad times, but instead reggae is about fun and good vibes. Older fans might get a bit confused because Morgan Heritage introduces a more pop sound in their reggae, but they still can appreciate the homage to their roots. “Child of JAH” has remnants of
their traditional reggae style with slight mainstream undertones. Its lyrics are meaningful and hail to their Jamaican roots.
The tracks continue to feel more and more modern as you listen to the rest of the album. The reggae style becomes more of a base line for the pop-style vocals. There’s a mixture of rap, jazz, and layered vocals but the messages behind the songs still invoke positivity and relaxation. “Sunday Morning” is one of those tracks that plays with pop-reggae
infusion – it’s smooth and upbeat while still incorporating pop elements.
Morgan Heritage’s twist on reggae music in Strictly Roots draws a newer fan base that might be more open to exploring the rest of the genre. While older fans might miss the traditional aspects of the band’s sound, they still hold on to the fact that they are
redefining what the genre could bring to mainstream music. They’ve already shown what they can do when you mix a wide variety of sounds, and it’s pretty amazing.
Release Date: April 20th, 2015
Runtime: ~50 minutes
Check Out: “Child of Jah,” “Celebrate Life”
1) Strictly Roots
2) Child of JAH
3) Light It Up
4) Rise and Fall
5) Perform and Done
6) So Amazing
7) Wanna Be Loved
8) Why Dem Come Around
9) We Are Warriors
10) Put It On Me
11) Sunday Morning
12) Celebrate Life
13) Keep On Jammin