Strength to Survive

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Over the course of nearly 15 years, SOJA aka Soldiers of Jah Army have been quietly turning into one of the most solid and accomplished reggae bands in the U.S. Despite an undeniably powerful instrumental sound, their progress was slowed early on by bandleader Jacob Hemphill's vocal affectations, which explicitly evoked Bob Marley and made him sound both annoying and somewhat ridiculous. Over time those tendencies have faded somewhat, and Hemphill has started to come into his own as a singer. His voice is still thin and weedy he sounds more like Apple Gabriel than Bob Marley these days, but the fake Jamaican accent is less pronounced and his phrasing and delivery have ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Over the course of nearly 15 years, SOJA aka Soldiers of Jah Army have been quietly turning into one of the most solid and accomplished reggae bands in the U.S. Despite an undeniably powerful instrumental sound, their progress was slowed early on by bandleader Jacob Hemphill's vocal affectations, which explicitly evoked Bob Marley and made him sound both annoying and somewhat ridiculous. Over time those tendencies have faded somewhat, and Hemphill has started to come into his own as a singer. His voice is still thin and weedy he sounds more like Apple Gabriel than Bob Marley these days, but the fake Jamaican accent is less pronounced and his phrasing and delivery have matured. So has his ability to write hooks, and it's the quality of the songs on Strength to Survive more than the singing of them that makes this such a powerful album. "Gone Today," "Everything Changes," the slow and smoky groove of "It's Not Too Late" -- these are songs that anyone would be proud to have written, and the band's tough, tensile groove has only gotten stronger over the years. Missteps? Yes: the two non-reggae acoustic numbers at the end of the program one of them a misbegotten version of "Gone Today" expose all the worst things about Hemphill's vocal style, and neither of them is especially compelling in this stripped-down and groove-free format. Skip those last two numbers, though, and you've got one of the best American reggae albums of the year.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/31/2012
  • Label: Ato Records
  • UPC: 880882178123
  • Catalog Number: 8821781
  • Sales rank: 24,980

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mentality (4:06)
  2. 2 Strength To Survive (3:24)
  3. 3 Everything Changes (5:04)
  4. 4 Don't Worry (3:23)
  5. 5 Tell Me (3:32)
  6. 6 It's Not Too Late (3:34)
  7. 7 Gone Today (3:58)
  8. 8 Let You Go (3:39)
  9. 9 Not Done Yet (4:13)
  10. 10 Slow Down (4:01)
  11. 11 Be With Me Now (5:31)
  12. 12 When We Were Younger (4:27)
  13. 13 Gone Today (3:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
SOJA Primary Artist
Soldiers of Jah Army Indexed Contributor
Michael Chaves Guitar
Zac Rae Keyboards
Patrick O'Shea Keyboards, Group Member
Jacob Hemphill Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony, Group Member
Rafael Rodriguez Trumpet, Group Member
Hellman Escorcia Saxophone, Group Member
Davey Chaegwidden Percussion
Bobby Lee Jefferson Bass, Group Member
Ryan Berty Drums, Group Member
Kenneth Brownell Percussion, Group Member
Technical Credits
Jim Fox Engineer
DJ Chris Crisis Cut
SOJA Arranger
Jacob Hemphill Composer, Artwork
Mike Caplan Engineer
Ravi Gondolfo Artwork
John Alegia Producer, Engineer
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