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Stephen Marley|Old Soul

Old Soul

Stephen Marley

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The storied reggae artist (and heir to the throne as Bob Marley's second son) Stephen Marley takes a new turn on his fifth solo album Old Soul. After years as a supporting player and behind-the-scenes producer, Marley emerged with solo work in the late 2000s as a powerful hybrid of roots reggae and modernized hip-hop, sometimes speckled with moments of dancehall fun for good measure. Born from nightly acoustic jams at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Soul is considerably mellower, matching soft sentiments on love, family, and the circle of life with spare arrangements that float out of the speakers like a gentle breeze. Tunes like the autobiographical title track and the lover's rock-influenced "Standing in Love" (which features a cameo from Slightly Stoopid's Kyle McDonald) keep the percussion and electric instruments to a minimum, making acoustic guitar melodies and sweet vocal harmonies the main focus. Buju Banton contributes to the perky ska number "Thanks We Get (Do Fi Dem)" and there's a reggae foundation to the brooding "Cast the First Stone" (aided by brother Damian Marley), but even these tracks are lighter readings of traditional reggae and reggae-adjacent sounds. Elsewhere, Marley curiously explores whatever style he feels, drifting through jazz standards like "Georgia on My Mind" and "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" and covering the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" before inviting Eric Clapton to join in on lead guitar as they revisit a cover of Marley's father's 1973 hit "I Shot the Sheriff." The lazy ramble of "Winding Roads" closes Old Soul out, sounding more like a folksy, amber-hued jam band tune than anything reggae related. Assistance from the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and the perpetually affable Jack Johnson enhance the song's laid-back essence, and it's a lovely way to let the thoughtful, even-keeled album naturally decompress. Marley maintains a relaxed energy and a light touch throughout Old Soul, but the songs are built well enough that they feel refreshing and never sleepy. It's a pendulum swing from some of his more intense moments, but the strong material shows his depth as an artist, regardless of the muse he's pursuing.

© Fred Thomas /TiVo

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Old Soul

Stephen Marley

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1
Don't You Believe
00:02:39

Mark Myrie, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Marley, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Keiko Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

2
Cool As The Breeze
00:04:38

Stephen Marley, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Llamar Brown, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Keiko Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

3
Cast The First Stone
00:03:55

Stephen Marley, Producer, Drums, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Damian Marley, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Keiko Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alan Mitchel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

4
Thanks We Get (Do Fi Dem)
00:03:57

Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marley, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Perry, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Buju Banton, FeaturedArtist - Junior Byles, ComposerLyricist - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Llamar Brown, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Magela Herrera, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

5
Don't Let Me Down
00:03:41

Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Marley, Producer, Drums, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Llamar Brown, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Keiko Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

6
Georgia On My Mind
00:04:29

Stephen Marley, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Drum, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Javaughn, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Llamar Brown, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Hoagy Carmichae, ComposerLyricist - Carnell Harrell, ComposerLyricist - Keiko Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

7
Let The Children Play
00:04:03

Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marley, Producer, Drums, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - G Smith, ComposerLyricist - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Llamar Brown, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Keiko Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Magela Herrera, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

8
Old Soul
00:03:31

Clifton Dillon, ComposerLyricist - Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marley, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Drum, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Dillon, ComposerLyricist - Omar Pasley, ComposerLyricist - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seg Gwey, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

9
There's A Reward
00:03:45

Stephen Marley, Producer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ziggy Marley, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Magela Herrera, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joseph Benjamin Higgs, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

10
This Time
00:04:45

Mark Myrie, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Marley, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Juan Torres, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ranoy Gordon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

11
These Foolish Things (Reminds Me Of You)
00:03:19

Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marley, Producer, Percussion, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Strachey, ComposerLyricist - Eric Maschwitz, ComposerLyricist - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Llamar Brown, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Chad Bernstein, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Keiko Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

12
I Shot The Sheriff
00:05:01

Eric Clapton, Guitar, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Climie, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marley, Producer, Percussion, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Marley, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ranoy Gordon, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Llamar Brown, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

13
Standing In Love
00:03:48

James Wisner, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marley, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Slightly Stoopid, FeaturedArtist - Kyle McDonald, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Llamar Brown, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Meredith, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Karene Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Adiambo Riley, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Dalton Atkinson, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

14
Winding Roads
00:04:27

Don Was, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Weir, Producer, Guitar, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Marley, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Johnson, Producer, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jay Lane, Drum, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Chimenti, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Singer, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer - Vadim Canby, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths International

15
Old Soul
00:03:21

Clifton Dillon, ComposerLyricist - Mario Caldato Jr., Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marley, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Drum, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ranoy Gordon, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Dillon, ComposerLyricist - Omar Pasley, ComposerLyricist - Adiambo Riley, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seg Gwey, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2023 Tuff Gong Collective / UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album review

The storied reggae artist (and heir to the throne as Bob Marley's second son) Stephen Marley takes a new turn on his fifth solo album Old Soul. After years as a supporting player and behind-the-scenes producer, Marley emerged with solo work in the late 2000s as a powerful hybrid of roots reggae and modernized hip-hop, sometimes speckled with moments of dancehall fun for good measure. Born from nightly acoustic jams at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Soul is considerably mellower, matching soft sentiments on love, family, and the circle of life with spare arrangements that float out of the speakers like a gentle breeze. Tunes like the autobiographical title track and the lover's rock-influenced "Standing in Love" (which features a cameo from Slightly Stoopid's Kyle McDonald) keep the percussion and electric instruments to a minimum, making acoustic guitar melodies and sweet vocal harmonies the main focus. Buju Banton contributes to the perky ska number "Thanks We Get (Do Fi Dem)" and there's a reggae foundation to the brooding "Cast the First Stone" (aided by brother Damian Marley), but even these tracks are lighter readings of traditional reggae and reggae-adjacent sounds. Elsewhere, Marley curiously explores whatever style he feels, drifting through jazz standards like "Georgia on My Mind" and "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" and covering the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" before inviting Eric Clapton to join in on lead guitar as they revisit a cover of Marley's father's 1973 hit "I Shot the Sheriff." The lazy ramble of "Winding Roads" closes Old Soul out, sounding more like a folksy, amber-hued jam band tune than anything reggae related. Assistance from the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and the perpetually affable Jack Johnson enhance the song's laid-back essence, and it's a lovely way to let the thoughtful, even-keeled album naturally decompress. Marley maintains a relaxed energy and a light touch throughout Old Soul, but the songs are built well enough that they feel refreshing and never sleepy. It's a pendulum swing from some of his more intense moments, but the strong material shows his depth as an artist, regardless of the muse he's pursuing.

© Fred Thomas /TiVo

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