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  • Writer's pictureRomaine Brown

Stephen Marley's 'Old Soul': A combined masterpiece of musical genres

Review: With magnificent singles & collabs, a unique blend of acoustic guitars, drums & piano sounds and a list of extraordinary guest artistes, Stephen Marley diversifies to deliver a remarkable project


not defined by a genre


In his fifth solo album 'Old Soul', seven years since his last one, Reggae Icon Stephen Marley pays tribute to the Marley legacy - The successful family, with a lifetime of inspiration and influences ranging from Frank Sinatra to the Beatles to (no surprise here) his father, Bob Marley.


With an impressive list of collaborations, there is no doubt that they will garner a lot of attention and generate a lot of attention on the various streaming platforms.


No stranger to unique projects, the 51-year-old Grammy-Award winner is a star on the international scale where he provides unique guest appearences, wrapped with special sounds, which was recorded in a garage converted into a studio on a family farm in Florida.



Marley gathers his longtime friend, Jamaican legend, Buju Banton for a re-recording of Junior Byles's originally, 'Thanks We Get (Do Fi Dem)', which was written by Lee 'Scratch' Perry.


Stephen's version of the Beatles' 'Don't Let Me Down' gives a distinct feeling of an island accompaind with a unique blend of acoustic guitars and drums. Also, In 'Winding Roads' with Jack Johnson and Bob Weir, it’s the acoustic guitars that play a major role.


Stephen delivers another classic in "Cool As The Breeze" where he shows his silky smooth singing; a pure love song or dedication to a special person.



Along with the British guitarist phenomenon, Eric Clapton, both artistes delivers a re-version of his father's iconic hit "I Shot the Sherrif'. The combination between Eric Clapton's guitar skills and Marley's lyrics create a meaningful revisitation.


He also tries to combine some jazz with country music, with the disarmingly sweet cover of Frank Sinatra’s 'These Foolish Things (Reminds Me Of You)', with a little twist.


In a predictable but interesting collab as always, Stephen’s younger brother Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley features on 'Cast The First Stone'. The Marley brothers trading melodic verses to deliver this classic.



With his elder brother Ziggy, they send a heartfelt tribute to Joe Higgs, the man who mentored young Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer when they were all aspiring singers in Trenchtown.


‘Georgia On My Mind’ combines all these elements, from the blending of the musical genres, the special sounds, to the unique way of conveying stories.


Piece by piece of this body of work justifies the long wait of over seven years since his previous project. As Stephen pointed out, he is not defined by a genre, he is a pure musician and this might be the reason why this album is a masterpiece.



"Old Soul" was released by Tuff Gong Collective/UMe/Ghetto Youths International on September 15, 2023.

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