Jamaican Music

REVIEW: A SONG, new album from Chalice

Written by Judy Cohall

A Song, by Chalice, is the latest album by one of the most versatile reggae groups from Jamaica. A fan favorite from the glory days of reggae, Chalice has something for everyone.  This is an updated, refreshed compilation of some of Chalice’s best music, benefiting from guest artists, such as Taurus Riley, Tanya Stephens, and Richie Stephens, among others, lending their talents to this album. Producer Wayne Armond, Chalice’s bandleader and primary songwriter, makes the most of these gifted artists’ contributions.

Like Bob Marley and the Wailers, Third World, Steel Pulse and Black Uhuru, Chalice combines musical excellence, strong songwriting and soulful stylings. This new album introduces their talent to a new generation of music lovers, while giving seasoned reggae fans a reason to revisit their music.

Long-time Chalice listeners will be delighted that Chalice anthems, “I’m Trying” and “It Will Be Good To Be There” sound better than ever.  From the sly sexy vibes of “Stew Peas” to the heart-stirring tribute to the martyrs “Heroes of Yesterday” and the driving, dance-hall style of “Chalice Haffi Blaze”, Chalice displays mastery of the music while keeping true to their unique sound.  It’s hard to pick stand-outs on this album – every time I listen, I appreciate each of the songs in a different way. “Easy Street” and “Joy In The Morning” are sweet love songs with infectious melodies. The sacredness of the Rasta hymn “Praise Him” is taken to new heights with swelling Nyabinghi drums and vocal chants. And the two versions of “A Song”, the first in classic Chalice style and the other, with strong folk vocals by Jamaican treasure, Charmaine Limonius, place reggae in its rightful place as Jamaica’s musical gift to the world.

One can only hope that this new album may herald an upcoming tour for Chalice. Their live performances never disappoint.

About the author

Judy Cohall