I-Wayne, "Life Teachings" (VP Records)
"Life Teachings" is the long overdue third album from reggae star I-Wayne, and the singer is back with a display of real roots, continuing to mix the political with the romantic.
The 14-track album, mostly produced by Patrick Z. Henry, takes you on a journey of love and righteousness, and is filled with rhythms and bass lines that blend perfectly with his incredible voice.
Album opener "Burn Down Sodom" is bold and self-explanatory, and the powerful title track touches on common roots matters such as taking down Babylon, and "Herb Fi Legalize" does the same praising marijuana.
In comparison, tracks such as "Life Joy," a collaboration with Etana, gives the record an element of R&B, and "Empress Divine" adores the "perfect woman," showcasing I-Wayne's romantic side.
The album wouldn't be complete without an infusion of dancehall and that comes courtesy of "The Fire Song," featuring special guest Assassin, whose rough tone compliments I-Wayne's softness.
Overall, "Life Teachings" is one of the better contemporary reggae albums to be heard in a while, and out of his trio of records, this one is by far the strongest, with its fearless songwriting and neat production. Comparisons to reggae greats are certain, but not premature. Old and new listeners alike should be excited.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: An instant pick on this classic is "Pure as the Nile" — a simple, feel good song with a powerful captivating vibe.