Roots reggae artist Ginjah released his long-awaited 3rd album “Survival’ on March 20, 2020. The album was released under the Young Veterans Music label and distributed by VPal.
Before writing this review I went back and listened to Ginjah’s two previous albums as I was not very familiar with them. I can see growth and maturity in this latest album which has increased in spiritual and conscious content.
The album opens with “Jah By My Side”, a song revealing Ginjah’s unfailing trust in Jah. “Imma be fine. Imma be ok. I know I’ll be alright.” a faith that would help us all in this time.
“Fire Blaze” is my favorite track on the album. It’s a song about artists who compromise their morals and try to be something they are not for stardom. “They will do anything to live the life of a superstar.” I not only like the lyrical content of this track but Ginjah sings this song in a lower register than he is normally known for. I think he should do this more often as it shows a richness to his voice that is not as evident in the higher register.
The following track is “Jah Light”. This track talks about the light of Jah that shines through the darkness that is often associated with the music industry as a whole. This light is what keeps him going and not giving up.
In “Shootie Shootie” Ginjah hits on the subject of gun violence and murder by the youth in gangs. He asks the murderer how they feel now, in other words, is it on their conscience.
Life is a struggle with many hills and valleys before you find peace of mind, This is the theme of “Many Mountains”. This track has a big band, old school feel to it and a variety of instruments to give it a real full sound.
Previously released as a single in 2019, “Survival”, the title song, is a song about keeping negative people a way to find peace of mind. Ginjah also sings about forgiving those who have done him wrong to obtain that peace.
With its infectious ska beat, “Stronger Together” speaks of ending the fussing and fighting and coming together to make the whole world stronger. This is a light-hearted beat with a deep deep message.
Another song with a deep message is ”White Lies”. Ginjah says that freedom is a lie that the white world would have everybody believe. The black race is still in slavery because of the way it is discriminated against and is still facing what the ancestors faced 500 years ago.
“Moving” is a song about how Ginjah sees the stages in his life, how he sees his life-changing to make him a better person. He likens these stages to the stages of the moon and how it becomes brighter.
The pain and hopelessness of feeling no-one cares is what Ginjah describes in “To Be Alone”. When you are going through struggles you feel you are on your own even if you are not. This song is poignant and convincing enough to make you believe that Ginjah has been there.
Ginjah’s debut album “Urge To Love” was an album of love songs but “Special Friends” is the only song on this album that is a love song. Some of this album speaks of the love of life or the love of your fellow man but this one is a romantic call to a girl to be a special friend even if they can’t be lovers. “Even though you’re not my honey. You’re sweeter than pocket money.” is a little cheezy but a great line.
The final song on the album is “I’m Alive”. This is a call for celebration, to feel the vibes, to cherish life and to believe in your dreams, a fitting end to a diverse and uplifting album.
As I’ve said in reviews before, don’t just pick and choose the tracks to download. For the price of a couple of fancy coffees, you will have an album that will grow on you more and more each time you hear it. This is an album that will last over time. Well done Ginjah and Young Veterans Music. I look forward to more in the future.