Spiritual's music transports us to another time, when reggae legends like Bob Marley first took the rebel sound of Jamaica to a worldwide audience. Authenticity can be heard in every note. Awakening is his debut album, and arrives just as reggae music is resurgent in its homeland again thanks to artists like Chronixx and Alborosie. Under Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon's direction, Spiritual has been able to realize his musical vision at last, and deliver an album that can stand alongside the '70s classics that inspired him as a youth. There are traces of Burning Spear and Culture in his voice, whilst the songs hark back to an era when artists were judged on their integrity, both musical and otherwise.
His songs have power and resonance, no matter the subject. He's teaching black history on "Black Man Story," which is sung over a joyful rockers rhythm. "Time Has Come" is a call for revolution whilst "Liberation" features Iba Mahr, singer of Diamond Sox and a linchpin of Jamaica's new roots scene. Profound lyrics, sticky, hypnotic rhythms and first-class production prevail throughout this impressive debut, whether he's singing of black man redemption – on "Show Me The Way," shared with Gladiators' lead singer Droop Lion – or upholding his Nazarene vow on "Where Is The Love." He's offering invaluable advice on "Give Thanks And Praise," whilst "Rule Di World" asks us to consider what we'd do with unlimited power.