Ashanti Selah Never Leave I Alone Review

Ashanti Selah – Never Leave I Alone – Review

Ashanti Selah: Never Leave I Alone 7″ Vinyl Review by Mr Topple for

Ashanti Selah’s latest release to hit the Pauzeradio shop is, perhaps, one of his strongest in a while – meaning we’re very humbled to be able to bring it to you.

Never Leave I Alone, released via Firmly Rooted, sees Selah transcend the current Reggae cultural tendencies to fuse genres – delivering, instead, a straight yet vibrant and affecting Roots track – albeit with some interesting attention to detail laced across it. The mastering is very strong – not giving prominence to one instrumental line, instead allowing each part of the arrangement to shine through.

Never Leave I Alone works with the mantra ‘less is more’, here. Notable features include the keys. They run a choppy, staccato bubble rhythm in the mid-range of their register, which subtly moves proceedings forwards. Then, an electric organ complements them, also running a heavily-vibrato’d bubble rhythm, of sorts – just slightly more intermittently. The skanking guitar finishes off this trio of choppiness well – running a delicate backwards and forwards almost out of earshot.

However, the bass is not quite the traditional one. It avoids a one drop, or any drop-beat rhythm, altogether – instead opting for a constantly running melodic riff. The tone is delightful – rich, resonant, and not so far down its register that it turns into something driving and Dub-like. Drums complement this well – again avoiding any straighter trappings. Instead, they half do a one drop – with the kick avoiding beat one. However, the snare runs an interesting pattern – hitting double time across multiple beats, as opposed to just the two and four. Meanwhile, hi-hats fill in the spaces in-between. Plus, at points the snare runs some slowed-down military buzz rolls – adding urgency.

The additional instrumentation is well-executed, too. Delicate horns are not over-used, instead coming in and out to provide responses to Selah’s main calls. There’s a gently lilting, additional guitar line, which interjects the track with bending, tropical riffs – almost like a secondary vocal part. A fluttering expertly performed flute is the final, attractive touch in this competent musical backdrop. The backing vocals are well-arranged and executed, too – fitting nicely with the arrangement. Overall, this clean yet intricate musical palette elevates Never Leave I Alone above standard Roots fayre – as does Selah’s vocal.

He’s purposeful and pointed, here – providing a forthright yet still slightly delicate vocal performance across the meandering musical backdrop. He peaks and troughs, dynamically, in his tenor range – making good use of note clipping and extension to accentuate certain points in the lyrics. His vibrato is pleasingly used – homing in on the ends of phrases. There’s something of the Soul, here, too – with Selah delivering some brief yet pleasing glissandos and runs. The chorus is also a stroke of genius – picking up on the music’s ‘less is more’ vibe to provide a very memorable refrain. Lyrically, Selah has created a narrative that oozes praise to Jah – while providing a rousing call to others that if they can find faith, then the world will look and feel a very different place. It’s uplifting and pertinent in these difficult times.

Side B offers a pleasing and well-arranged Dub version, where the flute takes the lead, and the music is stripped-back accordingly.

Overall, Never Leave I Alone is a strong offering from Selah and Firmly Rooted: gorgeously arranged, well executed, with Selah delivering a memorable performance. The perfect addition to anyone’s collection.

Do you need a review or press release? Book our services for your latest release here.

Ashanti Selah Never Leave I Alone Review by Mr Topple / Pauzeradio PR Services (23rd May 2023).

Search The Store

Search The Archives

Search Shows For An Artist

Search The Store

Search The Archives

Search Shows For An Artist

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.