New Scroll

New Scroll

Cornell Campbell’s voice is a marvel of Jamaican music. His marvelous high tenor—which combines the nimble, celebratory melodicism of Sam Cooke with the unwavering intensity of Gregory Isaacs—has graced countless classic recordings from every era of Jamaican popular music. More remarkably, the quality of Campbell’s work never seems to vary, from the unearthly rocksteady ballads of his days with The Eternals to the hard rub-a-dub and dancehall of his later years. New Scroll is Campbell’s recent collaboration with the acclaimed roots production team Zion I Kings. The Kings’ work on New Scroll deliberately hearkens back to the classic productions of Bunny Lee, who provided Campbell with many of his most memorable hits in the mid- and late ‘70s. A spare but effective application of echo and delay (and an emphasis on live instrumentation) help make this one of Campbell’s most rewarding efforts in decades. “People”—a solemn but ultimately uplifting affirmation of human nature—is one of the album’s most touching tracks. Campbell devotees will be equally delighted by “Chant It Out.”

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