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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

JUNIOR KELLY

By Ernest Barteldes
Published February 2, 2006

Tough Life
VP

This new voice in reggae mixes religiosity, love and despair with a roots reggae background. On the opening track, he sings about the struggle of keeping clean while staying away from the bad influences of the world. In "Hold The Faith," one of the best tracks of the album, he joins forces with Jamaican legends Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar, adding to the song a touch of genius by including a sample of Dennis Brown's "Hold on To What You Got." He shows his romantic chops on "Receive" and "The More I See Her," while spreading his Rasta teachings in strong songs such as "Be Wise" and the poignant, pleading "Give Me Strength." Pay close attention to "Youths Dem Nah-Cool," a criticism on the ways of the younger generation, another collaboration with Shakespeare and Dunbar.