Photographers: Alain Hottat; Christian Bordey; Sandy Pitt.
Jah Cure's life story has so many ups and downs one would expect him to be quite a bit more unsettled, but as the reggae singer reaches his mid-thirties, he offers a grace and sense of restraint well beyond his years. It makes his 2015 release The Cure sound like a later-era Beres Hammond record, and that's a high compliment. Cure also has it over Beres in the hipness department, as the great "Corruption" pings and pongs with spacy dub sounds that could have come from some U.K. sound system, while "Made in California" tips its hat to the rock-reggae crews that rule the Golden State, plus the beautiful women who come to their shows. Speaking of, "That Girl" and a cover of John Legend's "All of Me" fill the album's romance requirement, while "I Surrender" is an epic sufferers song the size of Cure's massive hit "Reflection (Prison Walls)," although the man singing here sounds more weathered and much wiser. Think of Anthony B or Sizzla with more warmth, or Tarrus Riley with a Stephen/Damian Marley-sized love of modern sounds, and the magic of The Cure is close at hand. ~ David Jeffries