Prince Malachi

Watch Over We

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Prince Malachi is the latest in a long string of young singers to emerge from the stable of producer Philip "Fatis" Burrell and his Xterminator label, which licensed his most recent album to the American RAS imprint. Interestingly, a significant amount of the music on album is well removed from reggae -- in fact, songs like "Watch Over We" and "Meditation Time" sound like an attempt at smooth R&B, while "We'll Be Strong" rides an upbeat soul groove. The problem is that while Prince Malachi sounds fine in a reggae context, he doesn't quite have the voice to carry off these other genres, where the voice is typically more exposed and there is more emphasis placed on vocal pyrotechnics. He's much stronger on the reggae and conscious dancehall numbers; particular highlights include the two deejay combinations, "Universal Pain" (with Lion), and especially "River Nile" (with Prince Bob). Best of all is the album's final track, the beautiful modern roots anthem "Where Do They Go?." Prince Malachi would probably do best to stick with material like this and leave the R&B to others.

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