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Review: Soul/reggae singer Natty prepares to 'Release the Fear'

By Adrian Peel     Jan 13, 2016 in Music
The San Francisco-born thirty-something, who moved to London at the age of one, reached the Top 20 with his debut LP, "Man Like I," in 2008. Is the follow-up worthy of similar success? Digital Journal found out.
Described by The Telegraph as a "soul-reggae crossover sensation," this socially conscious musician, born to an English father and a Black South African mother in 1983, has been working on his new album, Release the Fear, for the past seven years. During that time he has also put out three EPs and has continued to perform live, supporting Ziggy Marley on a US tour in 2011.
The opening track is the first single. Entitled "I'm Alive," it's a beautiful melody as well as being a "catchy proclamation of faith and a declaration of thanks for new times and new energies." The animated video from the man who defines his sound as "futureroots" is also an impressive work of art.
The relaxed, spaced out groove of the second track, "SS Rebel Song," showcases the dreadlocked singer/songwriter's undeniable skills as a vocalist. His Jamaican-tinged singing voice shines equally brightly on the superbly hypnotic "Rain Clouds." "There's too many rain clouds, but I know one day I'll break free" is the optimistic refrain.
Natty's reggae influences come powerfully to the fore on the excellent - though slightly overlong - "Seasons Change." The artist whose real name is Alexander Akiloe Philip Modiano is rather more downbeat during the fairly interesting "Motherland" and then full of energy once more on the politically-charged "Gaia."
"King Had a Dream" is a stripped down piece about Martin Luther King (I presume) featuring a child's singing voice, designed, I believe, to add poignancy. The final song is the soul-searching and deeply reflective title track, the perfect end to a very enjoyable album.
In answer to the question I posed at the start, yes Release the Fear definitely deserves to achieve the same level of critical and commercial acclaim as its predecessor.
Release the Fear will be available to buy or download from March 11.
For more information on Natty, visit his official website.
More about natty, ziggy marley, Soul Music, reggae music, the telegraph
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