Mikey General releases 12th studio album titled “Hailelujah Song”
Mikey General has just released his 12th studio work “Hailelujah Song”. It hit the streets on December 3rd this year. The album was recorded partly in the prestigious Tuff Gong studios in Kingston and partly in ReggaeLand, quartering in Barcelona. The latter is the same label that did albums for the likes of Singer Jah, Malijah, Chantelle Ernandez and most memorably, Anthony Que with the fantastic “Don’t Fear No Man”. Previously, the General had worked with ReggaeLand on an outstanding single by the name of ‘King Selassie I Alone’, which does appear on this album and he also recently reached their new Change Riddim with a tune which you will also find on the new album. “Hailelujah Song” was recorded by Michael Howell of Tuff Gong and Genis Trani of Reggaeland.
“Hailelujah Song” is a 15 track album, among which are already acclaimed singles ‘Jah Will Be There’ and ‘King Selassie I Alone’, where Mikey General spreads a message of love, faith, and positivity. It appears to be more of the same sweet brand of Roots Reggae music that fans have come to expect from the General throughout his excellent career.
The album starts with the very laid-back yet groovy “Roots Rocking Reggae”, a song in tribute to the pioneers of the reggae music who helped to develop this genre of music and spread it all around the world. A very nice opener. It is followed by the slow-paced love song “Inna Million Years”.
In the third track of the album, “No Follow Babylon”, Mikey General takes his stance against the system of Babylon. The song expresses itself in a historical and knowledge type of set and in the course gets the very powerful, and rather timely, message across that people are just tired after so many years of oppression. A very uplifting and uniting vibes marking one of the best tunes on ‘Hailelujah Song’ hands down.
Next up is ‘Early In The Morning.’ It comes in with a very `responsible’ vibes as well and it is a social commentary with more than a dash of the spiritual which is a very nice mix.
‘Word, Sound & Power’ This tune carries another very heavy message (as is Mikey General’s style) as on it, the General says that Rastafari and Africa itself will have to toughen up if we are assumed to make any kind of progress in a world which is constantly progressing with or without us knowing about it. It also, at least to my ears, raises the constant question of EXACTLY what is the place of Rastafari in the society, besides the stereotypical view of the singer making the music. VERY deep tune right there and definitely don’t skip through it at all, take your time with it.
Also quite splendid is ‘Only For A Time’ which is spit on the same riddim which accompanied Anthony Que’s LUSH ‘Beautiful Mother Nation’. This song revolves around the transience of all things, with one large exception, and it genuinely celebrates it. It isn’t an entirely sad tune, but one of those that manage to elevate you because, after all, one only has a short time to make the best of it.
In the keeping of the spirit of the previous song is ‘Rastafari Never Lies.’ Its message, in short, is that the only thing that you can depend on, at all times, is His Imperial Majesty. The riddim on this tune deserves a distinct praise. A duet, recorded with a Spanish artist known as Sr. Wilson. ‘Harder They Come, Quicker They Run’ is characterized by a stepper beat. Wilson comes off as a nice kind of old school Dancehall artist, which positively spices up the song.
The locomotive of the album – ‘Hailelujah Song’ is a piece that gives a giant praising to His Majesty. “when I recall, all that Jah has done for me/I get so confused, because it’s so many/praise HIM cold and heat, praise HIM fire and hail.” It does not just stop there.
On the very next song on the album, the praises go up once again as Mikey General takes his turn on the Change Riddim with ‘Jah Will Be There.’ Supported by feathery, playful guitars, it is another highly acclaimed song of the album. “don’t you worry, everything’s gonna be alright/in the darkest night Jah will be there/when you can’t see no light/don’t be scared, don’t have no fair.”
By all means worth listening to is ‘Wanna Be Happy.’ The message is – another constant – persistently righteous and conscious, embossed by his deep love for Jah and the hence resulting staunch optimism. “what do you want, what do you need/I know what i need, i just wanna be happy, i just wanna be loved.”
‘Sort Out’ is a strong tune as the General speaks on the violence in the ghetto and specifically gets into a story telling type of situation which is actually far from his norm and ultimately is a very impressive twist of things there.
‘Let’s Pass Love On’ strikes as a very inspiring song, accompanied by an acoustic guitar. It is characterized by overall pacifist message, the neediness of taking responsibility in our hands and “taking a step to make the world a better place.”
As the album winds down it offers one of its real highlights, the downright brilliant ‘King Selassie I Alone.’ The song was a previous single from last year when it made a bit impression on me and a year and a half or so hasn’t done a thing to diminish it at all. It’s grown! On this album it stands out as the favourite and it’s also, easily, one of the finest songs I’ve ever heard from Mikey General altogether.
“Hailelujah Song” closes with the decent change-up ‘Won’t You Forgive Me’, kind of a jilted lover’s type of vibes. It’s not one of the best tunes of the album, but it kind of blends away at the end and is definitely forgivable.
Overall, I really can’t say anything negative about Mikey General‘s “Hailelujah Song.” While it is definitely short on something to separate it from the pack, to my ears, it comes across as a neatly put-together album with couple of brilliant songs accompanied by myriad of really fine tunes. This album best serves a purpose for DEEP roots heads, particularly those spawned in the modern era. While far from the best album you’ll ever hear, is just a joy to listen to “Hailelujah Song” from Mikey General, one of the most underappreciated masters of modern reggae music.
09.12.13 Written by Emin Bayramov for Jamworld876