Jahmiel Revamp EP – Flames Radio Review; any musical offering from Jahmiel will always be welcome, as he has already proven that he is a musical visionary and a consummate artist. With hits like ‘Strongest Soldier’, ‘Gain the World’ and ‘True Colours’, Jahmiel has set himself lofty standards to maintain and that is the lens through which I view this latest EP Revamp.
The EP opens with the stripped back ‘Preserve My Life’, which only has an acoustic guitar by way of musical backing and lyrically it is a prayer for protection. Whenever an acoustic offering from a Reggae/Dancehall artist is released, minds tend to conjure up thoughts of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song or Buju Banton’s Untold Stories. Comparisons to excellence are virtually inevitable. Therefore, the challenge with minimal musical backing is that the artist has to fill the rest of the space with their vocal delivery together with insightful and innovative lyrics, containing memorable punchlines. I didn’t get the sense that the gap was adequately filled but Jahmiel must be applauded for taking that creative risk. That said, this is a good song but I don’t think it will be a classic.
‘I See an Angel’ is next up and this feels like Jahmiel on safe ground. The production is mid- tempo and very atmospheric, which was exactly the objective, given the song’s lyrical direction. The thumping base drum provides a good contrasting musical hard edge. From this musical back drop Jamiel emerges singing ‘every time we hafi argue, when you know deep inside me really care’.
I think ‘Life Lesson’ represents one of the highlights of the Revamp EP as lyrically Jahmiel displays his repertoire of exceptional flows and lyrical content when he sings ‘Yeah mi know Jah Jah love we, man go through the flames without no burn. A wha dem waa si we dead for, Jah a we protector, you mek the table turn’. Another example of Jahmiel’s lyrical insightfulness and humour is when he says ‘When mi burden gets heavier, mi call pon Jah without no cellular’. In terms of production, this is again a mid-tempo offering, which is solid but nondescript.
The zenith of this EP comes in the form of ‘Lights Off’. I honestly think this could be the cutting edge of a new genre called Dancehall Slow Jam, because Jahmiel excels here. The simple production allows all the attention to be on Jahmiel’s expert delivery and he doesn’t disappoint, even changing gears to flow in double time over the slow beat. Jahmiel sings with convincing confidence and braggadocio, so his legion of female fans will definitely be satisfied with lyrics like ‘She seh whe you deh? I’m missing you, a you voice note me deh ya a listen to. Girl you see da body deh, get me in the mood, she text me back and seh mi want fi deh pon top a you’.
‘Shining’ speaks to overcoming adversity and the haters. Lyrics like ‘Nuh judge we, circumstances turn we ina monster. Show them love and dem think you weak, so nuff a we go tun gangster’ will resonate well with its ‘hustlers in the streets’ target audience. The production includes an electric guitar riff, which creates an interesting feature.
In light of some of Jahmiel’s great songs in the past and our high expectations based on what we know he can deliver (considering we have championed his music on radio and done live shows across the UK with him), we feel he never really got out of 3rd gear with this EP Revamp.
The EP’s saviour is Jahmiel’s lyrical delivery, which just about elevates Revamp above mediocre, as the production is not innovative or original. That said, in terms of lyrical content, Jahmiel does not explore any new topics. A Revamp should represent an improvement, an upgrade, a refashion or a redesign but nothing on Revamp is a significant departure from or better than, anything Jahmiel has done before. So Revamp feels more like an extension and is good EP but not exceptional, especially when compared to Jahmiel’s exemplar standards.
FlamesRadio give this a 6.5 out 10
Written by: DJ Wondah