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Raver Reviews: Stephen Marley’s Revelation Part II – The Fruit of Life

In my opinion, Stephen Marley’s Revelation Part I:  The Root of Life is pound for pound the best reggae album of the new millennium.  His production on tracks like “Break Us Apart,” “No Cigarette Smoking,” “Freedom Time,” “Jah Army,” and “Tight Ship” is really top-notch and sets him apart from his multi-talented brothers as the royal family’s most gifted and innovative producer.  Marley sets a higher bar with each release and there is no question that Revelation Part II:  The Fruit of Life is the most eagerly-anticipated reggae release in recent memory.  A perfectionist to the core, Stephen Marley kept fans on edge for several years as he tinkered with the new album.

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Revelation Part II:  The Fruit of Life was officially released on July 22, 2016 amid a spectacular 44-city summer tour.  The album has much more of a mainstream appeal with guest appearances from pop and hip-hop artists alike.  However, reggae heads need not fear, for there is still plenty of ragga roots and culture to satisfy the righteous.  The first single from the album, “Rock Stone,” is a hard and heavy ragga anthem featuring Capleton and Sizzla over a modern roots instrumental with elements of dancehall and EDM.

The tune is a fitting first single for the album and one of the strongest tunes in the set.

“Babylon” is a hard-hammering hip-hop-influenced track featuring Dead Prez and Junior Reid over a rock-solid acoustical track driven by an intense drum track.  It is a massive tune and a brilliant choice to kick off the set.  On “Walking Away” Marley comes with a dread vibe on a melancholic tune which would feature nicely in any Massive Attack set.  Its a different sound for Marley but one which he executes well.

Stephen meets Damian on “Perfect Picture,” a poppy yet forgettable lovers track which features a heavily-modulated Stephen Marley volleying with his younger brother, who comes with a rather strong performance on the track. Stephen is far stronger on “Thorn or a Rose,” an infectious lovers tune featuring Black Thought from The Roots.

The album leans hard on hip-hop throughout with guest spots from the likes of Rakim, Wacka Flocka Flame, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, Twista, Iggy Azalea, and Rick Ross. Unfortunately, many of the featured artists fail to deliver the performance needed to maintain the high standard we have all come to expect from Stephen Marley. Nonetheless he pulls it all together rather nicely with the wizardry of a world-class producer.

Ultimately Revelation Part II:  The Fruit of Life fails to deliver the same spiritual punch that Revelation Part I delivered, however, there is plenty to digest here and I’m sure the album will find a much broader audience than the first.  It has a very urban sound which may make it more accessible to a wider audience but true reggae aficionados will be disappointed by the slick production and North American appeal.





  1. Rob says:

    Every time a reggae artist seeks to broaden their appeal.. The album ends up flat.

    On a related note… The Marleys choose odd rappers and singers to collaborate:

    Bobby Brown
    Willie Nelsen
    Dated rappers
    Woody Harrelson

  2. yes i. just bought it and ultimitely disappointed. some tunes’ll grow though

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