Album Review: Bonafide - One Wish
One of the most ambitious records released of late to represent the “reggae revival” in that it has something for everyone is Bonafide's One Wish. Packed with 25 tracks, it can be the soundtrack or a textbook to refer to for the next generation with its limited exposure to the richness of reggae’s past. From nyabinghi riddim soul searching, that addresses societal ills to sharp up-tempo dancehall grooves, people will gravitate towards their favorites, depending on the many moods of One Wish.
The album kicks off with the love song, Start N Stop, with its solid chorus, and lead vocals by Junior Roots who has that same intoxicating style that Maxi Priest carries. Damian Marley makes his appearance on this tune, balancing out the sweetness with a bit of the ragga.
All of the grooves have the greatness of reggae’s past production values positioned front and center. Live bass throbbing, well-recorded (and performed) drum lines jumping, complex keyboards pumping, with the vocalists flexing up and down the scales in perfect pitch. The harmonies, so well thought out, will have you singing along in your register.
The title track, One Wish is a sincere love song, with sweet organ making the case for the greatest love, sung in the first person. Polished R&B ballads take the vibe to a universal level and change the vibe, and turn it back seamlessly to a strict rub-a-dub tempo. Reggae’s roots queen Etana is featured in a duet I Wanna Be The One which also spotlights Kerry Ranks and Junior Roots from Bonafide, trading sweet vocals and deejay-style lyrics. This song takes the R&B tempo and combines it with a reggae groove that spotlights Etana’s powerful voice and tone.
Dancehall is well represented on tunes such as Oh Ya Ya Ya and Club On Fire which intersperse unfiltered vocals with autotune effects that are done with class over a pocomania-inspired groove that is a dancefloor sure shot. On both Run The Club, the combination with seldom heard from Mr. Lexx and Bumpa the combo with Busy Signal, the band addresses females dancing the night away in the club setting. The groove returns to the one-drop on the combination Leaving Come The Morning with Vybz Kartel who stars in the video for the same tune and is shown driving a vehicle and chanting his lyrics.
Slated next for a video is the crossover styled Jah Blessin which feels like a tune for the times, with its mix of R&B and one drop beats. The tune Reggae Time features Bonafide with Luciano and Mr. Lexx, who spotlight reggae and its cheery vibes with a great driving keyboard line and catchy vocals. As the 25-song strong opus closes out, a deep R&B groove and powerful vocals ask to Call Me When It’s Over.
This team that produces music for other artists now has their foothold in the airplay and sales arena, giving new energy to songs that have been primarily performed live in the local Las Vegas scene where the band is based. Now they are ready to take the recording industry by storm, with determination, energy and clearly a whole heap of hard work.
Bonafide - One Wish
2CD / DIGITAL RELEASE [B-Raz Records]
Release date: 09/17/2013
01. Start ‘n Stop feat. Damian Marley
02. I Will Be There
03. Who You Are in Life
04. Take Time
05. Why You
06. Sold Out
07. One Wish
08. Where Is the Good
09. First Kiss
11. Can You Tell
12. Come Back to Me
13. I Wanna Be the One feat. Etana
14. Come My Way
15. Oh Oh Ya Ya
16. Club on Fire
17. Run the Club feat. Mr. Lexx
18. I’m Not Ready
19. Phone Freak
20. Sendin’ All My Love
21. Bumpa feat. Busy Signal
22. Leaving Come the Mornin’ feat. Vybz Kartel
23. Jah Blessin
24. Reggae Time feat. Luciano & Mr. Lexx
25. Call Me When It’s Over