Jah Cure

True Reflections: A New Beginning (VP Records)

First off, this isn't exactly a new project by the fresh-out-of-prison Jamaican singer Jah Cure. The recently released True Reflections is more of a greatest-hits compilation of tunes that Cure has cranked out over the past eight years — most of which he recorded while behind bars. True Jah Cure fans have heard these songs for years on singles, reggae mixtapes, and in dancehalls as the artist's popularity rose with each jailhouse ditty he released. Now that he is on the streets again, it's fitting that VP would compile these singles into an album. With that said, the 14 older tracks here, plus the brand-new "To Your Arms of Love," are all stellar, with Cure's signature roots/lover's rock vocals massaging your eardrums on each tune. Obvious cuts like "Searching for a Girl," "Love Is," and "Longing For" — his three most popular songs — appear here, and the influence of Cure's mentor, Beres Hammond, is evident on those tracks. Still, there are other, lesser-known gems on True Reflections, like the acoustic-guitar-accompanied "Love You" and the melodic "Share the Love," that make this disc a welcome release. Cure's harmonious voice and positive lyrics are undeniably catchy yet poignant, and this album shows that, even from a jail cell, he has become one of the strongest singer-songwriters in Jamaican music.

 
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