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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Album review: Stony Hill is another towering release from Damian Marley

In his first album in over a decade, the singer picks up where he left with an exciting and thoughtful collection of reggae jams

Stony Hill by Damian Marley
Stony Hill by Damian Marley

Stony Hill

Damian Marley

(Universal Republic)

It has become a music industry dictum that if you are looking for an expert blend of roots reggae, you need look no further than the Marley clan.

With Stony Hill, Damian Marley’s fourth album and the first solo release in 12 years, you get two for the price of one. His older brother Stephen is not only on board as producer but also lends his raspy vocals to three of the generous 17 tracks on offer.

With such a substantial number of songs running over a relatively epic running time of just over 70 minutes, you'd expect to a few misfires. Instead, Marley uses the large canvas to showcase the various styles he dabbled with throughout his career.

Nail Pon Cross is vintage dance hall and the gritty R.O.A.R has Marley delivering gruff, funk style vocals. Living It Up is a sun-kissed summer anthem recalling the spirit of Marley’s father’s classic Sun is Shining, while the orchestral Autumn Leaves is a stirring display of Marley’s bruised voice that is laced with urgency and wisdom.

Easily the best reggae album of the year.

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