Daughter of SKA singer Derrick Morgan and protégé’ of “Tony Rebel”, Queen Ifrica is back with a new album, her first since 2009’s “Montego Bay”. It’s not like she has been inactive as there has been a steady stream of singles and music videos along with occasional controversies. She is known for both her toasting and singing and some have called her “The female Sizzla”. Her latest album is however mostly a departure from dancehall and toasting, in favor of an more organic and timeless Roots sound. It’s evident that quite a lot of time has been put into this album, this is not no rush-job with over used riddims and tired, clichéd lyrics. Were talking real instruments and high production values here. To be honest, I’m wondering if the production values where to high cause while most songs on here is good they often seem to lack that raw edge and feeling that I need for an album to really grab me.
I’m sure some will disagree with me but I’m going to save my superlatives to another review, it’s a good album but not mind blowing or a must have title. Anyways, first song is the Urban, Hip-hop flavored “Trueversation” with “Damian Marley” (one of the few featured guest artists on here). I guess it’s the crossover track of the album and an quite good one at that, I could see this get some play in clubs with the right promotion. Things quickly gets a lot more rootsy with the next song “That’s how it is sometime” an upbeat and emergetic song which fails to really make an impression on me. I really like the lyrics of “Love is not blind” as it effectively kills the old cliché’. The only song with a real dancehall vibe on here would be “Lie dem ah tell” which dispels some disinformation about Jamaica and how the country supposedly is going downhill.
My absolute favorite on here is “Ask my granny”, a strongly personal tune paying tribute to the hardships her grandma went through. Let me tell you, this is an amazing song, the kind which gives you goosebumps and stays in your mind for a long, long time. It’s a bit more scaled down than the other songs on here musically and does not feel so over produced. While I’m not going to make any claims this album will be one of the best of the year, this song will sure be on my “best songs of the year” list (I never really do these lists but still).
One thing I definitely want to bring up is the photo that makes up the cover to this album, I absolutely love it. She looks strong, classy and royal and absolutely gorgeous. The photographer sure got the very best out of “Queen Ifrica” in it and seem to have managed to capture her essence in it.I don’t know if im being unfair to “Queen Ifrica” and her latest album but I did not feel it as much as I was hoping to. It’s in no way a bad album but not one that leaves me speechless. It could just be my personal taste and not the album itself. Give it a try before you make up your mind, you may like it more than I did.
Buy the album here