Words by Jesse Serwer, Images by Martei Korley—
Jamaica’s greatest living singer has a new album, and it is one of his strongest records in years.
We’re still letting it sink in but One Love, One Life, Beres Hammond’s 26th studio album, is sure to go down as one of the best reggae albums of 2012, and maybe even the last decade. Produced by Beres himself (with co-production from Donovan Germain, Collin “Bulby” York and Michael Fletcher), the double-disc LP shows the diversity of the singer known as the “King of Jamaican Lovers Rock,” encompassing dancehall (“Prime Time”), ska (“Can’t Waste No Time,” “Don’t You Feel Like Dancing”), gospel (“I Humble Myself”) and even dub (“The Truth Will Live On”).
Beres fans know he is, at his core, an R&B singer and One Love, One Life could be the album that finally sees him get his just recognition outside of the Caribbean music world. (The Blue Note-esque artwork, designed by Greg Burke and shot by LargeUp creative director and co-founder Martei Korley, should help, finally giving the singer the iconic cover image he deserves). Big tings already a gwan: On Tues., Dec. 11, Beres is set to make his late-night TV debut on Jimmy Fallon. The following night he headlines the Sounds of Reggae concert at Brooklyn’s new arena, the Barclays Center.
One Love, One Life is out Tuesday Nov. 13 but, in advance of its release, VP Records has given us the full album to stream exclusively on LargeUp. Hear the whole thing below, and tell us which tune is your favorite in the comments. (And don’t be afraid to say, “All of them”—that’s pretty much what we’re thinking).
AS OF 11/17: The One Love, One Life streaming link is no longer active. Go here to buy the album, or go here and here to stream selected tracks.