Review: Build Up The Strong by Juliette Ashby

13576737_1208841709126567_2490345766007731549_oFollowing last years release of albums BitterSweet and Over + Over, Musicvein has waited with bated breath to hear the 2016 offering ‘Build Up The Strong’ by musician Juliette Ashby and I must say I’m loving it!

There’s no boxing amazonian Ashby into one genre of music – her diverse taste showcased with each album released. In BitterSweet we heard an acoustic mix of Folk and Pop while Over + Over was heavily influenced by RnB and Hiphop vibes.

Now Reggae and Ska music features in ‘Build Up The Strong’ with a little Latin sprinkled in for good measure. We hear collaborations with Producers Alan Glass (whose worked with Aretha Franklin), Jazzwad (Damien Marley) and Mike Bennett (The Smiths) – even the creme de la creme of British Reggae artists – Maxi Priest and Neville Staple of The Specials were drafted in for this third album.

“Build Up The Strong”, the opening track is as mutinous as it is victorious. This is no watered down version of Reggae music fit for commercial purpose, no, what we have here is strong and full of pride. Think back to UB40‘s music with its heavy bass and horn sections and you’ve pretty much got the vibe that Juliette’s putting across. With its head bopping beats “Build Up The Strong” (single) is creating waves in the radio industry – it’s been a long long time since British Reggae music was hitting the commercial airwaves and it’s receiving much love and attention from shows including The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show.

Juliette Ashby in ‘Build Up The Strong’ is paving the way for other female reggae artists to have their music heard on commercial Radio. Not since Sheila Hylton‘s cover of the Police hit “The Bed’s Too Big For You” which peaked at No. 35 in the UK charts and Janet Kay‘s “Silly Games” which reached No. 2, have we had people falling in love and re-discovering Reggae music.

If you own a copy of Over + Over (check out song “Row Your Boat”), the it’ll be no surprise to find that this album (B.U.T.S) contains a song called “Gingerbread Man”. Just as nursery rhymes and have a twisted side, here Juliette cleverly entwines Jack and the Beanstalk, 3 Little Pigs and the Gingerbread Man into a song of power over enemies, a theme of which occurs in a little warning song “#LTA” (Lyrics to Advice) I won’t ruin that surprise for you, all I will say is whoever upset this amazon warrior is being warned not to mess.

Other notable songs on the album include the brilliant “Calling on You” with UK rapper Ladee Lush, “Dim Your Lights” ft Atlanta GA rapper Childish Major whose credits include work with Rick Ross and Wiz Khalifa, “Red Light” for it’s Latin heat, “Baby Queen” with Neville Staple and “My Sanctury” featuring Maxi Priest.

“Build Up The Strong” single will be out September 2nd with the album due for release on 7th October 2016.

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