Jah Light
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Jah Light (RAS, 1998)

Without much hoopla, Prince Malachi debuted in 1998 with Jah Light, a refreshing mix of roots, dancehall, and lovers rock that was one of the best -- and most overlooked -- albums of the year.  At times, this righteous performer's sound can be compared to Luciano's, but the music on this album is not as ostensibly digital and dancehall-oriented as Luciano's can be.  Rather, Prince Malachi displays a more rootsy style that is refreshing in this digital age.  Like Luciano, though, his material strikes a nice balance between having a righteous message and an accessible, catchy sound.  This catchiness can be explained partly because the album was recorded in England, the land of lovers rock.  As such, lovers-styled tunes like "Leave It to Jah" and "Mek We Try" stand strong alongside the modern roots of "Step By Step" and the funky, fun dancehall of "Chronic."  Malachi's mid-range vocals are smooth, laid-back, and emotive and are displayed beautifully on tracks like "Deliver Us" -- whose hard beat is offset by the singer's voice -- and "Place to Be" and "Jah Light," which both feature nice acoustic guitars (the latter of which usurps the melody from "When I See You Smile" by '80s hair band Bad English, but strangely, it works).  Jah Light is a major statement that Prince Malachi is a force to be reckoned with in the reggae world.

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Track Listing
1. Revelation Chapter 5
2. Step By Step
3. Mek We Try
4. Deliver Us
5. Jah Light
6. Chapter 2
7. Hebrew Chapter 7
8. Leave It to Jah
9. Nah Work
10. Riding From West
11. Jah Light [Acoustic]
12. Malachi Chapter 3
13. Chronic
14. Johnny
15. Respect
16. Nothing Nah Gwan
17. Place to Be
Jah Light
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Love Jah
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Love Jah (VP, 1999)

Prince Malachi didn't waste much time coming out with this sophomore effort, but luckily, the hasty schedule doesn't show in the album's content.  The only drawback to Love Jah as compared to Jah Light is that it was produced by Phillip "Fattis" Burrell, who gives it a digital dancehall edge that makes Prince Malachi sound more generic, like a hybrid of Luciano and Everton Blender.  Not a bad pair to be compared to, for sure, but for originality's sake, the album suffers a bit by reducing the roots and lovers rock elements.  However, this is not to say that Burrell doesn't do a good job of production on Love Jah, because he does.  He simply does what he knows how to do: produce dancehall music.  Prince Malachi's succulent melodies meanwhile adapt themselves well to this style, and some of the output -- "Ready fi Dem" and "Prophet, Priest & King," for instance -- have a decidedly more militant, hard edge than the material on Jah Light.   Still, his tone and message is generally more of the universal love style of Luciano than that of a harder-edged cultural artist like Sizzla.  The poignant "Mama Don't Fret" and the love song "My Love" are typical.  The title track is actually one of the weakest here, but all are solid, as Malachi rivals Luciano, Everton Blender, and even his own superb debut album in every aspect.  Note: Love Jah has also been released on Burrell's Xterminator label as Prophet, Priest & King.

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Track Listing
1. Healing on the Streets
2. Love Jah
3. Keep the Faith
4. Fire Is Blazing
5. Mamma Don't Fret
6. Jah Is Our Guide
7. Ready fi Dem
8. Leaders of the Future
9. Prophet, Priest & King
10. Running Away
11. My Love
Love Jah
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Watch Over We
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Watch Over We (RAS, 1999)

Something of a disappointment in light of his first two albums, Watch Over We has a distinctly mainstream edge that may leave many fans feeling disaffected.  Case in point: the title track, which leads off the album, has a borderline sappy R&B sound, with its lethargic ballad beat and saxophone accompaniment.  Nevertheless, "Watch Over We" ultimately proves catchy, and with the next song, the typically strong and emotional cultural dancehall of "Jah It's I," Prince Malachi seems to have righted the ship.  However, another slow R&B ballad, "Meditation Time," follows, and while it's also decent, this is not the (yawn) style we want to hear Prince Malachi sing.  "Seek and You'll Find," riding a dance/hip-hop beat continues the crossover stylings, but the piece de resistance is the nauseatingly happy pop dance track "We'll Be Strong."  I don't know what either Prince Malachi or Phillip Burrell were thinking on this song, but I think the wacky weed was involved somehow.  But Malachi and Burrell are too talented to put out a straight wack album, so there are pleasures to be found, like the aforementioned "Jah It's I," the powerful "Look Around," and the rootsy "Fishers of Men," along with the echoing, dub-like "Why Do We Have to Live This Way" and the simple yet memorable "River Nile."  Fans shouldn't be disappointed with these tracks (at least, not as much as with the others).

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Track Listing
1. Watch Over We
2. Jah It's I
3. Meditation Time
4. Universal Pain with Lion
5. Look Around
6. We'll Be Strong
7. Seek and You'll Find
8. Why Do We Have to Live This Way
9. Fishers of Men
10. River Nile with Prince Bob
11. Where Do They Go
Watch Over We
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