Moving 2 the Top

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"Revelation," the single from Abijah's self-titled album, was a big hit in Jamaica and established Abijah as a roots reggae singer/songwriter to watch. Comparisons to Bob Marley inevitably followed, but the next album took five years to materialize. That album, Moving 2 the Top, got off to a good start when it won an ARTISTdirect contest in 2007 that awarded Abijah with a full-scale promotional package. Moving 2 the Top shows Abijah in many different musical environments, from roots reggae ("State of Emergency," "No More War") and dancehall-rap to glossy urban pop and acoustic ballads. Tevin Campbell guests on "Overcome," and Beenie Man appears on a new remix of "Revelation." The album, at nearly 80 minutes long, contains as much music as will fit on a CD, including a live track, the aforementioned remix, a Bob Marley cover, and a remake of Dion's hit "Abraham, Martin and John" (entitled "Tribute") with all the references changed to figures such as Marley and Marcus Garvey. It isn't traditional reggae by any stretch -- Abijah toys with styles and unusual arrangements, not all of which work; even his vocal technique varies from track to track. As a result, Moving 2 the Top often sounds more like an audio résumé than an album, demonstrating Abijah's abilities in a wide variety of settings.

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