Love so nice

Check out Junior Kelly along with Luciano, Dean Fraser and The Firehouse Crew at The Brick Works on Thursday, April 19. For more info call (530) 895-7700.

With 18 of the freshest dancehall cuts in a while, Kelly’s debut stretches the limits of the genre. Usually, dancehall singers are concerned with the “partying” or more carefree attitudes, though there are some respected singers who tackle more serious subject matter. Fueled by the fact that his older brother Jim was killed at age 13, Kelly, though he prefers the more up-tempo dancehall beats, takes a serious tack on such subjects as growing up ("Juvenile"), his idea of utopia ("Paradise") and love ("Love So Nice"). The title track has won international acclaim for both the words and music. With his lyrics set to the music of Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up,” Kelly laments, “If love is so nice/ why it hurt so bad?” This introspection stands in stark contrast to the happy-go-lucky vibe of the original tune. Incorporating a more melodic and playful “dee-jaying” style—in which reggae crooners improvise on top of dancehall DJs’ mixes—Kelly has forged for himself a unique vocal and lyrical style dubbed “sing-jay” and has set himself apart from the pack. Love So Nice is oh so nice.