Album Review: EVER-G - Unleashed!!!
A lesser-known recording artist, EVER-G’s greatest asset is his songwriting ability which is taken from the playbook of vintage roots and culture. Some of the songs have been re-recorded and appeared on a 1999 release entitled World Peace. All of the songs are recorded over one-drop style beats, some of which are original and some are adapted from classic vintage rhythms. Produced by Chris “Peanut” Whitley at his StableRoots studio.
While not blessed with the most distinctive or agile vocal tone, he makes up for it by using classic Jamaican arranging and recording techniques. Adding background harmonies Cheryl Sule to accentuate the phrasing is part of a grand scheme that sprouts from the classic style.
With 14 songs, Unleashed opens with a global call for unity with World Peace again drawing from the roots, Rasta playbook which reminds us that “war is not the answer, give peace a try.” EVER-G continues this theme with the perfect segue Let’s Unite which contains the most infectious chorus on the set. Rasta themes of peace, love and unity are further explored on Livity, a morality tune reminding people to live up and come together.
For Love Can Conquer he takes on love and romance, his lyrics here, “separated we might falter and we many not recover, but united we can conquer” caution against a break up and a willingness to forget the past and move forward. “Musical Warrior” gets philosophical citing several reggae artists that have passed away like Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Joseph Hill. On A Roots Music he makes his preferences clear that this roots music is a healing force that this a “I and I music”.
Son of the Most High is a hopeful, pledge of confidence in his access to protection and good fortune, not “motivated by greed.” Moving along EVER-G cites his father speaking to him in the the first person as a Role Model who taught him to liberate his mind and be free.
The feminine gender is uplifted in Upful Woman a tribute to her tendencies to “never hesitate to say what’s in your head.” Here ability to handle the pressure, remaining “cool and calm, you bend you don’t break like the island palm.”
The tempo slows down for Keeping It Real which finds EVER-G singing over just solo piano. Its a love song that addresses a love interest and their possible departure from the relationship. There is a melodica solo that comes in between verses that gives it a folksy romantic feel.
Jah Creator is a devotional to Jah for the guidance and protection of the creator. EVER-G brings in a popular rasta prayer by chanting a psalm that begins “Let Jah arise and let his enemies be scattered.” For Reality he gives a check to a woman who did not meet his expectations as “I man a deal with reality, if you want to be with me, you have to deal with reality.”
To close out the set he sings two songs in tribute to the Motherland. Mama Africa addresses the varied challenges in different parts of the continent over a one-drop rhythm. To end the album he slows down the tempo to a ballad for “Alkebulan” the ancient name for Africa, and uses the verses to list all the names of the countries there.
EVER-G is an original soldier for reggae, may he continue to uphold the standards that were set decades ago in roots reggae.
EVER-G - Unleashed!!!
DIGITAL RELEASE [EVER-GMuzik]
Release date: 11/06/2015
01. World Peace
02. Let's Unite
04. Love Can Conquer
05. Musical Warrior
06. A Roots Music
07. Son Of The Most High
08. Role Model
09. Upful Woman
10. Keeping It Real
11. Jah Creator & Father
13. Mama Africa